Bottom - Senator James Clayborne
SPRINGFIELD - A decision on who will take the reins of the Illinois Senate in January could come as soon as next week.
Meeting for the first time since the general election, members of the Illinois Senate spent Wednesday jockeying for position in the leadership scramble caused by the pending retirement of Senate President Emil Jones, D-Chicago.
Whoever crosses the finish line first could attempt to set a different tone in the General Assembly, which has been mired in political gridlock for the past two years.The infighting among Democrats who control the Senate, House and governor's office has left the state saddled with a budget deficit and a lack of progress on a long-sought road- and bridge-building program.
Front-runners to replace Jones include Democratic state Sens. John Cullerton of Chicago and James Clayborne of Belleville.