— From NBC's Danielle Weisberg
Illinois State Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias
yesterday officially entered the Senate race for President Obama's old seat. Giannoulias called Obama his "friend, mentor, and inspiration," according to the Chicago Sun-Times, despite the White House's unsuccessful effort to recruit Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan for the seat. When asked about an endorsement from the White House, Giannoulias replied, "You'd have to ask the president that."
Other recent developments in the race include speculation, reported by Sun-Times, that Chris Kennedy, son of the late Robert Kennedy, is vacillating between running for the Senate seat or the governorship.
Meanwhile, Republican Rep. Mark Kirk announced he would be running for the Senate seat last week, making him the GOP front-runner.