11/13/2008 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Senate President Race Heating Up

Illinois Democrats have been battling behind-the-scenes to decide who will replace retiring Illinois Senate President Emil Jones. And the race "appears to be coming down to two candidates," reports Kurt Erickson in The Southern.

State Sens. John Cullerton of Chicago and James Clayborne of Belleville are throwing money into Democratic races across the state in hopes of sealing up support when senators vote in January on a successor to Jones.

State Sen. Gary Forby of Benton is among those benefiting from the largesse. Martin Mulcahey, a Galena Democrat trying to take over the seat vacated by Republican state Sen. Todd Sieben in northwest Illinois, also has received money from the wannabes.

Cullerton and Clayborne had been among the favorites since Jones announced his retirement in August, but the campaign contributions further cement that status.