Jesse Jackson Jr. could succeed Obama

Aug. 2, 2008 at 9:53 AM
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CHICAGO, Aug. 2 (UPI) -- Speculation is rife over who would be appointed to fill Barack Obama's U.S. Senate seat should the Illinois Democrat be elected president, observers say.

Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich, a Democrat, would make the call on who would succeed Obama in the U.S. Senate if the party's likely presidential nominee wins the White House in November. One name mentioned is U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., D-Ill., the Chicago Tribune quotes Congressional Quarterly as saying Saturday.

Jackson is the son of the U.S. civil rights leader Jesse Jackson Sr. and represents a district on the South Side of Chicago. He is national co-chairman of Obama's presidential campaign and, if he were appointed by Blagojevich, would also replace Obama as the U.S. Senate's only black member.

Jackson has indicated he would be interested in the job.

Also mentioned as possible successors to Obama were fellow Illinois U.S. House Democrats Rahm Emanuel, Jan Schakowsky and Luis Gutierrez, Congressional Quarterly said. Emanuel has insisted he would not be interested in a Senate seat.

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