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Illinois Issues
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Hawkinson named to Blagojevich team

Gov. Rod Blagojevich tapped his election opponent’s running mate to join his administration.

Former state Sen. Carl Hawkinson of Galesburg, who ran for the lieutenant governor’s job in November on the GOP ticket led by former Attorney General Jim Ryan, will serve as Blagojevich’s deputy chief of staff for public safety. 

In that capacity, Hawkinson will direct the state’s homeland security efforts. That position was created by Gov. George Ryan following the September 11, 2001, attack on the World Trade Center in New York. Matthew Bettenhausen first held the job, with the office based in Chicago (see Illinois Issues, June 2002, page 20). Hawkinson will have his office in Springfield.

A lawyer, Hawkinson was Knox County’s state’s attorney from 1976 until his election to the Illinois House in 1982. Four years later, he moved to the state Senate, where he chaired that chamber’s Judiciary Committee. He ran unsuccessfully for the 3rd District seat on the Illinois Supreme Court in 2000 (see Illinois Issues, March 2000, page 35).

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