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The Cohen Affair: What's Next?

By Marcus Gilmer in News on Feb 9, 2010 3:40PM

With Scott Lee Cohen now out of the race for Lt. Governor, the question remains: who will replace him? Speculation is already focusing on Tammy Duckworth, U.S. Assistant Secretary of Veterans Affairs. Duckworth, who lost a 2006 run at Congress, is apparently a favorite with Gov. Pat Quinn. But what about the other candidates who finished behind Cohen? And what of others interested in the position? Dems are in a delicate position of trying to find someone who can win while not hurting feelings but it seems like things are already getting a bit heated. Per the Tribune:

Senate President John Cullerton, D-Chicago, noted prior to a Monday meeting of Senate Democrats in Springfield that "half the people here want to be lieutenant governor."

Veteran state Rep. Art Turner, of Chicago, who is black, finished second to Cohen. But some leading Democrats, including other black state lawmakers, said they could support a downstate white contender to balance the ticket. As a result of last week's primary, all six major Democratic nominees for the U.S. Senate and statewide offices are from the Chicago area and half of them are African-American.

"I'm not saying downstaters are racist … they are regionally focused," said state Sen. Donne Trotter, D-Chicago, one of the lawmakers. "They want somebody that can articulate their concerns in state government."

Raja Krishnamoorthi of Peoria has been mentioned as a possible replacement as well, having just lost out on the comptroller nomination in last week's primaries.