Thursday, November 06, 2008
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Governor to take his time on Obama replacement

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[November 06, 2008]  CHICAGO -- After congratulating President-elect Barack Obama on his decisive victory, Gov. Rod R. Blagojevich announced Wednesday that he will take his time and use a diverse senior staff made up of key members of his administration to assist in selecting a suitable replacement for Obama.

"Last night's victory was bittersweet for Illinois -- as we gain a great president, we lose a great senator. And it goes without saying that our next senator has big shoes to fill. Because it's important that the best person for Illinois is selected, I want to be clear that the calendar won't dictate our search. Instead, I want to ensure that Obama's successor will understand and fight for the needs of average Illinoisans," Blagojevich said.

RestaurantBlagojevich will be looking for candidates who will:

  • Support the president-elect's agenda for the people.

  • Effectively represent the interests of the state of Illinois in the U.S. Congress.

  • Work with the governor's administration to achieve shared goals of ensuring access to affordable health care, rebuilding Illinois' infrastructure, improving the economic security and livelihoods of Illinois workers, and caring for the most vulnerable.

  • Prioritize the average Illinoisan who is too burdened by taxes and economic hardship.

The U.S. Constitution, 17th Amendment, provides that a state legislature may empower the executive of the state to make the appointment, giving the governor the authority to fill a vacancy in a Senate seat.

See text below:

United States Constitution: Amendment XVII

The Senate of the United States shall be composed of two Senators from each state, elected by the people thereof, for six years; and each Senator shall have one vote. The electors in each state shall have the qualifications requisite for electors of the most numerous branch of the state legislatures.

When vacancies happen in the representation of any state in the Senate, the executive authority of such state shall issue writs of election to fill such vacancies: Provided, that the legislature of any state may empower the executive thereof to make temporary appointments until the people fill the vacancies by election as the legislature may direct.

This amendment shall not be so construed as to affect the election or term of any Senator chosen before it becomes valid as part of the Constitution.

[Text from file received from the Illinois Office of Communication and Information]

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