President-elect Barack Obama will resign his U.S. Senate seat on Sunday to focus on his transition to the White House.

“It has been one of the highest honors and privileges of my life to have served the people of Illinois in the United States Senate,” Obama said in a statement released Thursday afternoon.

Obama’s seat will remain empty until Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich appoints a successor to fill out the remaining two years of the term. An appointment is expected by the end of the year.

About The Author

Michael Corcoran is a journalist who focuses on business, media and public affairs. He has written for the Nation, the Boston Globe, Common Dreams, Alternet, Campus Progress and elsewhere.

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