CHICAGO
03/23/2009 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Governor Quinn Calls On Burris To Resign

Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn has called on Senator Roland Burris to resign and for his seat to be filled by a special election.

"I think Roland Burris should step aside and resign," Quinn said at a news conference late Friday morning. "The best thing for Illinois-- the people he loves--is to step aside."

Quinn said the latest questions about Burris' contacts with impeached former Gov. Rod Blagojevich have placed "a cloud over [Burris'] head."

"I think it was mistaken to accept the appointment under the cloud [under which] it was received. ... I think the ongoing controversy, all the different affidavits correcting this and that, underline the importance of stepping aside."

Quinn said he supports a House bill that calls for a new Senator to be elected within 115 days of a vacancy. In the interim, Quinn said he should be able to appoint a temporary replacement who would not seek reelection or in any way campaign for another term.

Quinn urged Burris, whom he called "honorable" and a good friend, to step down as quickly as possible for the good of the state and the country.

"This should not be a matter that takes weeks. ... The common good is really what we need to focus on in Illinois today. The office does not belong to the officeholder."

Quinn said he wished the Senate had never allowed Burris' appointment and reiterated his earlier claims that Burris should never have accepted the appointment because of the taint surrounding former Gov. Rod Blagojevich.