Lisa Madigan's Surprising Decision

"The job as Illinois Attorney General is extraordinarily satisfying and one that I am deeply committed to continuing to do." says Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

Madigan, who was until today considered the front runner for both governor and U.S. Senator has decided to stay put.

"Well certainly she's done a great job as attorney general for Illinois for the years she's been in office and we understand that it was a personal decision for what's best for her family and certainly the state." says Winnebago County Democratic Party Chairman Dan Lewandowski.

Her decision dramatically changes the playing field for both races.

"I think it will be a wide open election season especially with the trial of Blagojevich starting next summer that clearly will be weighing on the voters mind when they go to the polls." says Republican State Senator Dave Syverson.

Local political analyst John McNamara offers his theory as to why Madigan has chosen not to seek a higher office.

"There's a big difference between being an executive and a legislative person and she's served in the legislature. I think she knows what that's about and for at least this stage in her life I think she feels that she's better off being an executive." says McNamara.

Many candidates planning to run against her are breathing a sigh of relief.

"I believe I'm going to be the next governor of Illinois regardless of who the opponent is. But yes, I am relieved that Lisa Madigan isn't going to run for governor." says Republican Gubernatorial candidate Kirk Dillard.

The attorney general has not ruled out plans to run for higher office in four years. Senator Dick Durbin says Madigans decision is the right one for both her state and her family.

Political analyst John McNamara says her father Michael Madigan's position as Illinois speaker of the house may have played a role in her decision not to run for governor.

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