Obama to Resign Senate Seat Sunday

November 13, 2008 - 3:50 PM
President-elect Barack Obama said Thursday that he will resign from the Senate, effective Sunday.
Chicago (AP) - President-elect Barack Obama said Thursday that he will resign from the Senate, effective Sunday.
 
In a statement, the junior Illinois senator called his four-year term "one of the highest honors and privileges" of his life and said the people of Illinois will stay with him as he leaves the Senate to begin "the hard task of fulfilling the simple hopes and common dreams of all Americans as our nation's next president."
 
The move was expected. Obama won the presidency last week over Republican John McCain.
 
Under state law, Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich will name Obama's replacement for the remaining two years of his term. Blagojevich has said he expects to make a decision by year's end, and had ruled out appointing himself. Obama is the only black senator.
 
Congress is scheduled to meet in a special session next week.
 
Potential candidates to replace Obama are Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr., Rep. Jan Schakowsky, Illinois Senate President Emil Jones and Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan.
 
On Tuesday, Obama appeared with another potential replacement, Iraq war veteran Tammy Duckworth, to commemorate Veterans Day. She is a former congressional candidate and head of the Illinois Department of Veterans' Affairs.
 
A day later, Obama friend and adviser Valerie Jarrett made it known that she's not interested in the Senate seat.
 
Congress is scheduled to meet in a special session next week.
 
Obama's aides say his Senate office will remain open for a while so that staffers can archive Senate documents for Obama's future presidential library and contact constituents. It will close some time within the 60 days after the resignation becomes effective Sunday.