Jockeying over the state Senate's next Democratic leader intensified Wednesday as Mayor Daley insisted he had no horse in the race but signaled behind the scenes he wants retiring Senate President Emil Jones' successor to be from Cook County.
All eyes were focused on the two perceived frontrunners in the race, Sen. John Cullerton (D-Chicago) and Sen. James Clayborne (D-Belleville), who by most accounts are nearly deadlocked in the number of votes they have for the job.
Reaching 19 votes among the 37-member Senate Democratic caucus is an important threshold that signifies backing from a majority of Senate Democrats. Ultimately, 30 votes will be required to elect a Senate president when the issue comes up for a vote on the Senate floor early next year.
But neither Cullerton nor Clayborne is close to either threshold, having amassed between 12 and 14 votes apiece, sources said.