Burris Won't Run For Senate Seat In 2010

(CBS/ AP)
Updated 6:47 p.m. ET

Illinois Senator Roland Burris, who was appointed to Barack Obama's Senate seat by impeached former Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich amid a cloud of controversy, has announced that he will not seek election to the Senate in 2010, CBS News has confirmed.

Burris will announce his decision tomorrow, sources tell CBS News Capitol Hill producer John Nolen.

Burris decision appears to have been based at least in part on the fact that he has not been able to raise money for an election campaign. As of March 31st, reports CBS News Political Director Steve Chaggaris, Burris had raised only $845 and had $111,031 in campaign debt, according to FEC reports.

Burris was appointed to Barack Obama's former Senate seat by Blagojevich, who was impeached in part on charges of offering the appointment in exchange for campaign contributions.

Senate Democrats initially opposed the appointment because of the charges against Blagojevich but eventually seated Burris after he made assurances that he had not acted improperly in his discussions with the governor's office.

(AP Photo/M. Spencer Green)
Senate Democrats were also wary of blocking Burris' appointment because Mr. Obama's ascension to the presidency left the chamber without an African-American member, something Rep. Bobby Rush pointed out repeatedly when Burris was nominated.

In May, the FBI released a taped conversation between Burris and Blagojevich's brother in which Burris discussing raising money for Blagojevich while also asking to be considered for the seat to which he was later appointed.

Burris had initially insisted that he did not have conversations concerning fundraising with the former governor's office, though his story evolved over time. The FBI revelations prompted an investigation into whether Burris had lied under oath.

Burris has been something of an outcast in the Senate, where his colleagues have largely avoided him. It seemed likely that most did not intend to support an attempt by the 71-year-old to run for the seat in 2010.

Chaggaris believes that Burris' announcement should not come as a surprise.

"His controversial appointment by ex-Gov. Rod Blagojevich and the subsequent ethics questions directly resulted in virtually destroying any viability of a Burris candidacy, and the polls as well as his lackluster fund-raising reveal that," he said.

"He would have had to raise millions to compete in a tough Democratic primary next year against potential candidates State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias and Robert F. Kennedy son Chris Kennedy," added Chaggaris. "With Democrats turning their back financially on Burris, the writing was on the wall for him: he just couldn't compete without strong fundraising."

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