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Wednesday, August 05, 2009

James Clayborne eyes Governor's race

Rich Miller wrote a syndicated column about the current state Senate Majority Leader that he posted onto his blog on Monday. Last year when then Senate Pres. Emil Jones (you may know him as Obama's political mentor when our current president was in the Illinois state Senate) announced his retirement, I outright hoped that Clayborne could become the new Senate president. One reason I would have been OK was because he was a downstater, every leadership position was taken by someone who lived in the Chicago area. The fact that he was also black should've sweetened the deal somewhat.

It didn't, hence the fact that Clayborne is the majority leader in the state senate. It was sort of a deal, a consolation prize for not being Senate President. But it seems he wants another prize, our state governorship.

Perhaps since 1994, Illinois has seen a black person (well it has often been black males) who have attempted to run for Governor. I often mentioned Roland Burris (Illinois current US Senator) who ran for Governor on three occasions between 1994 thru 2002. Then there was state Sen. James Meeks who mulled a run against Ousted governor, but decided against it because Ousted governor seemed to become serious about the issue of education funding.

Now it could be Clayborne! I did just mention that Clayborne is from downstate, but that is certainly a contrast to Burris and Meeks who reside in the city of Chicago. Sometimes I forget that there are blacks in other parts of the state, in fact I think I have relatives in East St. Louis (well that's about the area Clayborne resides) or at the very least a familial connection to that city. Still I wonder what that means if he's serious about his gubernatorial bid.

Rich Miller has this about him:
On paper, Clayborne would be a fascinating candidate, especially if he is the only African-American in the contest.

Sen. Clayborne is not the sort of Democrat that Chicago media types are accustomed to seeing. He’s a downstate attorney with a pretty solid pro-business voting record who is also regularly endorsed by organized labor.

He’s pro-gun, but he’s also pro-choice. He ran and lost for senate president last year, and the campaign exposed some rifts with his fellow black senators, partly over his strong rating from the National Rifle Association.
Well as a Chicago Black, I have no problem with his support for Gun Rights, Miller however, brings up some recent gubernatorial history:
Gun owner rights are not usually very popular with Democratic primary voters, and particularly with Chicago blacks. Pro-gun southern white Glenn Poshard was able to win the Democratic nomination in 1998, although that issue was used against him in the fall by Republican George Ryan. Just about every likely Republican nominee strongly favors the National Rifle Association’s view of things, so that issue might not hurt Clayborne as much as it did Poshard if he manages to win the primary.
We'll see, but the entry of a downstate Black in the Gubernatorial race is going to be interesting. Besides this race is about excitement with the idea being that our next governor might take this state into another direction. Perhaps a break from our most recent past with two recent governors running afoul of the law. One was arrested and sent to a federal pen, and the other arrested by federal agents then impeached and Ousted from office.

I outlined the idea of a 2010 gubernatorial candidate with a bold vision in another blog largely about Dan Profit (running as a GOP candidate for Governor). I would like to see a bold vision perhaps a man like Clayborne, who is said to have pro-business credentials, might be an answer. I hope to see what he may run on, if he does run.

You know I should just dust off my post about looking like a Governor. I should ask this question about Clayborne, does he look like a Governor. What do you think out there?

Another blog to read - Peoria Pundit: The next governor may be a guy named Clayborne

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