Sunday can’t come soon enough for state senators who will gather in Springfield that day to elect a new Senate president. There was buzz Monday fueled by blogger Rich Miller and WCIA reporter Mark Maxwell that state Sen. Elgie Sims was backing out of the race and endorsing Kimberly Lightford over Don Harmon. But a source close to Sims tells Playbook he’s still deciding. So we wait.
First of all, Lightford herself told Maxwell that Sims was backing her. The interview is not online yet, so I asked Mark for the transcript…
Mark Maxwell: Do you have the support of Senator Sims?
Senator Kim Lightford: I do.
MM: That seems like a significant development.
KL: It is. Senator Sims is a capable member of our caucus. I’m honored to have received his support.
MM: What got him across the line?
KL: I think he just realized that I’m the person to lead the caucus in a new direction with a lot of creativity, a lot of new ideas on how we can collectively come together and collaborate. He and I just spoke about it a number of times as we’ve been campaigning along the way. I’m just really glad that he’s decided that I would be a better fit for it for the race.
MM: Can we presume that means he’s bringing a few votes along with him?
KL: I’m not certainly sure about the level of support the Senator has arrived at, but I know for he and I, we have a good understanding of where he wants to be.
And I talked to Sims and the Senator told me he’s endorsing Lightford.