09/19/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

The Chicago Way: Retiring State Senate President Jones Wants Son To Succeed Him

Following the lead of political families like the Strogers and Lipinskis, Illinois Senate President Emil Jones is anointing one of his children to take over for him when he retires in January.

Jones, 72, began the process of handing off his Senate seat to Emil Jones III by filing paperwork Monday with the State Board of Elections to drop himself from the Nov. 4 ballot. Next, Democratic Party leaders in Jones' South Side and south suburban Senate district will choose a replacement.

"His preference, yes, would be to see his son serve," said Cindy Davidsmeyer, Jones' spokeswoman. "But it's the committeemen's choice."

That's true. But given Chicago's political history, Emil Jones III's candidacy appears a done deal that's stirring up old questions about politicians who retire near election time and then use their clout to pass on their jobs as family heirlooms.

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