News & Election Videos

March 05, 2009

Special election for Burris seat looks unlikely

The prospects of holding a special election to effectively remove Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.) from office appear dead, after Democrats in the state Senate defeated the legislation today.

Per the Chicago Tribune:

Over Republican objections, Democrats who run the Illinois Senate defeated legislation today that would have allowed for a special election to replace appointed Democratic U.S. Sen. Roland Burris before his term ends in January 2011.

The 3-2 party-line vote at a Senate committee represented another setback for Republicans who have been pushing for a special election since then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich made the appointment weeks after his Dec. 9 arrest on political corruption charges. Among the federal accusations is that Blagojevich tried to sell the very Senate seat he later gave to Burris.

"I think it's fair to say they have killed that idea," said Sen. Matt Murphy (R-Palatine), who sponsored the legislation.

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Sen. Rickey Hendon (D-Chicago) lashed out at Republicans for being "hell-bent on targeting Roland Burris."

"Why target the only black U.S. senator in the country?" Hendon asked.