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May 13, 2009

More Madigan buzz

Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan (D) has spoken out about her political future for the first time in a while, telling the Chicago Sun-Times her focus is on the governor’s race, even though she still didn’t rule out a possible Senate candidacy.

"The governor's race is still my main consideration,” Madigan told Sun-Times columnist Michael Sneed. She added that she’s been courted by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee as its preferred candidate – as a sort of warning to well-heeled businessman (and RFK son) Chris Kennedy, who is seriously considering the race.

All this comes as Illinois Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias continues to add to his million-dollar campaign account and court support for his Senate campaign. Sen. Roland Burris (D-Ill.) also hasn’t ruled out a run himself, even though few expect him to mount a serious campaign. And Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) is also considering the race.

Even though Washington Democrats are encouraged by the idea of Madigan running, she would face a tough challenge winning the Democratic nomination – arguably, a much tougher challenge than taking on Gov. Pat Quinn (D-Ill.) in the gubernatorial primary.

Giannoulias, who has been under fire lately for his handling of a college savings program, is still a formidable candidate and will have millions to spend on the race. Add the possibility of Kennedy in the race, and Madigan’s path to Senate victory is far from certain.

Our bets are that Madigan, while honored by the attention, will ultimately jump into the governor’s race, with Kennedy looking likely to challenge Giannoulias in the Democratic Senate primary.