Illinois Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D) indicated he may prefer an African-American nominee to fill President-elect Barack Obama's spot in the Senate, adding that he has interviewed a variety of state and federal officials in his search.

"I think it is a factor of a great deal of weight in my mind but it is not the only factor or the only consideration," said Blagojevich of the importance of race in his selection.

The governor told the Chicago Sun-Times he is setting up interviews with a number of potential successors for Obama, including Reps. Jan Schakowsky, Danny Davis, and Luis Gutierrez, all Democrats. Blagojevich said he is also considering former Illinois state Senate President Emil Jones, state Veterans Affairs head and 2006 congressional candidate Tammy Duckworth, and state Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

Blagojevich said he has yet to but intends to speak with Rep. Jesse Jackson, Jr. about the vacancy. Jackson has made his interest in the seat public in recent weeks.

"It would be very good if all the factors converged and if an African-American candidate would fit that bill," Blagojevich added, "but that by itself is not the only consideration."