U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin said Monday he was in the dark about any potential statewide bid of Merchandise Mart boss Chris Kennedy, the nephew of his Senate colleague Ted Kennedy.
Chris Kennedy's name has often come up as a potential Democratic challenger in Illinois races, but the son of Robert Kennedy has never actually stepped into the ring.
Lately, media reports have said he is eying a run for governor after backing off a senate bid. That would put him in competition with Gov. Pat Quinn and Comptroller Dan Hynes.
Asked about Chris Kennedy Monday, Durbin said flatly, "I have heard so many rumors."
"I don't know where he is whether it is governor or senator or something else," Durbin said.
But when asked about other candidates and potential candidates, Durbin had much more positive things to say.
On Chicago Urban League CEO Cheryle Jackson, Durbin said she "is a very talented person."
"I really like her," he added of the potential senate candidate.
On Treasurer Alexi Giannoulias, who declared his senate bid Sunday, Durbin said he is a "good candidate. I have met with him many times to talk to him about the race."
And on Hynes, Durbin said, "I have known Dan Hynes before he was elected to office and I have known his family even longer than that. He is a very talented person and understands state government."
Still, Durbin said he "doesn't think the field is complete at this point" for the senate race.
Meanwhile, he isn't picking a horse.
"I'm tempted to stay out of primaries," he said, but he added, "Occasionally I wander off and support a person or two."