For Illinois democrats trying to hold on to the U.S. Senate seat up for grabs in the 2010 general election, the emergence of LeAlan Jones is up there near the top on the list of "worst things that could happen".I think I can understand it somewhat both major party candidates for US Senate are evenly matched. One can't help but stretch the truth on his military service. The other has an unfortunate association with his family owned bank which was taken over by the feds.
Jones is the Green Party's nominee. And with so much voter anger and frustration aimed at the major parties, that alone would be enough to make him a factor in the race.
But he's also an African-American who wants to replace the only black member of the Senate, Roland Burris, who was appointed to take the seat vacated by President Barack Obama, who was the only elected black person in the chamber until 2008.
With white male major party nominees in Illinois--democrat Alexi Giannoulias and republican Mark Kirk--many black folks here and around the country are distressed and even outraged by the likelihood that the U.S. Senate will revert to its usual count of zero African-Americans.
And many of those black voters might express those feelings on November 2nd with a vote for Jones.
In fact, a June Public Policy Polling survey suggested Jones was favored by 14% of the electorate during a poll of 552 Illinois voters.
And what perhaps is most important about the survey is that Jones' showing means he should be invited to participate in the televised debates. Black voters, in particular, who do not know an African-American is on the ballot will realize as much after they see and hear the young, articulate black man standing alongside Kirk and Giannoulias.
Giannoulias, whose democratic party relies on the usually dependable and heavy African-American vote, has the most at risk. That's why, sources say, democratic party operatives are reaching out to Jones, who will not confirm or deny that such contacts have been made.
This election is depressing no one seems able to break out of the pack. And the polls are going back and forth because both of these individuals just having nothing that makes them wildly electable.
BTW, the man who they're replacing may be forced to vacate the seat. A federal judge has all but ordered a special election for that senate seat. The seat Giannoulias and Kirk are running for is currently held by Roland Burris and was the seat that catapulted Barack Obama to the Presidency.
I can always look at it this way, in an eagerness to insure that a black is sitting in a US Senate seat a corrupt governor appoints a black and it quickly becomes a racial issue. The Democratic majority in the state backs off so as to not anger an important voting block and drops a special election because they want another Democrat to win. Two blacks run in the primary one each in both major parties and both lost. So blacks would have to suck it up and vote for two white men in the general election anyway.
If this was about a Black Senator we've lost this race anyway. Especially since the appointed Black Senator wasn't able to mount a bid to retain the seat and other Black candidates were unable to break out of primaries. And the only other choice is a third party candidate who also is Black, but that's not likely to happen because he's not a Democrat.
Wow 2010 is turning into something else in Illinois isn't it?