Bill Daley Drops Out Of Gubernatorial Race

September 16, 2013

Former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley will not run for Illinois governor after all. 

Daley has flirted with running for office before, only to back out. This time, he insisted he was in it for keeps - like in a campaign video that he released.

"I'm committed to running for governor ... there is no exploratory piece in this anymore," Daley said in the video.

During a press conference Tuesday morning in Chicago, Daley said he thinks he had enough support - including downstate - and fundraising ability. But he said he did not realize the "enormity'' of being a candidate.

The brother and son of two longtime Chicago mayors got choked up as he described his family's service to politics and his decision to step aside. He said he didn't base it on any single issue. Daley said he will return political contributions. Daley said he is likely return to the private sector.

Daley nonetheless maintained his sharp criticism of incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn. He told reporters that his decision to drop out of the 2014 gubernatorial race does not mean he could not beat Quinn. He said Quinn is also likely to lose to a Republican in November next year.

In a statement released Monday night, the Quinn campaign said it respects Daley's decision, and that a divisive primary would have only helped Republicans.

Daley's decision to drop out leaves Gov. Quinn facing Democrat Tio Hardiman in the primary, unless another candidate joins the fray. Hardiman is the former head of a Chicago anti-violence group and is not well known to voters outside of the city.

Attorney General Lisa Madigan - who is popular in polls - long mulled challenging Quinn. However, she decided not to, citing a conflict of interest - he dad is the House Speaker.

Then there was talk of state Sen. Kwame Raoul entering the race. He, too, never made the leap, saying that as chair of a legislative pension committee, that must stay his focus.

Story source: Illinois Public Radio