Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) has his eye on the potentially soon-to-be vacant seat held by Sen. Barack Obama (D-Ill.). Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich would appoint a successor if Obama wins the presidential election.
"If Senator Obama wins — and I'm optimistic that he will — I indeed would be honored and humbled to succeed him in the U.S. Senate. But, in the end, the decision rests with Gov. Blagojevich, and I'm confident that he'll make an appointment in the best interest of the state as well as the nation," Jackson said in a statement.
Jackson is a close ally of Obama's and co-chairman of his presidential campaign; he came to his defense when his father, the Rev. Jesse Jackson, famously suggested doing symbolic bodily harm to him. Rep. Jan Schakowsky (D-Ill.) has also expressed interest in the Senate seat should it become available, and Tammy Duckworth, director of the Illinois Department of Veterans Affairs and a veteran, is rumored to be a contender.