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Ill. governor expected to name Obama replacement

Associated Press - December 30, 2008 1:33 PM ET

CHICAGO (AP) - Embattled Gov. Rod Blagojevich is expected to name former Illinois attorney general Roland Burris to President-elect Barack Obama's vacated Senate seat.

State Senate President Emil Jones said Tuesday that Burris told him about the appointment. Burris did not immediately respond to messages seeking comment.

Blagojevich was arrested earlier this month on federal charges that he tried to sell or trade the seat to the highest bidder. U.S. Senate leaders have said they won't seat anyone appointed by Blagojevich.

The Democratic governor has scheduled a news conference for Tuesday afternoon. His aides wouldn't say what it's about.

Burris became the first black politician to win statewide office when he was elected comptroller in 1978 - the first of 3 terms. He served one term as the state's attorney general, but he failed in three attempts at the Democratic nomination for governor, losing to Blagojevich in 2002.

The governor has denied wrongdoing and has vowed to remain in office.

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