12/06/2008 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Obama's Replacement: Schakowsky Pushing For Seat

U.S. Rep. Jan Schakowsky, long rumored to be interested in replacing Barack Obama in the Senate, confirmed her interest to the AP through a spokesman Wednesday.

The confirmation comes the same day progressive activist Ari Rabin-Havt started a petition urging Gov. Blagojevich to appoint Schakowsky to the seat (h/t Progress Illinois):

Thankfully a number of progressive candidates have already tossed their names into the ring. However none would top Jan Schakowsky.

Jan is a rare commodity among Members of Congress. Not only does she know how to build power from the inside as a progressive, she also has a deep understanding of how issue campaigns are fought and won. This presents a unique opportunity - to put it simply:

Jan Schakowsky could be the next Paul Wellstone.

Blagojevich said Wednesday that he is in no rush to name a successor.