Election 2014
12:01 am
Tue September 17, 2013

Daley Drops Out Of Governor's Race

Former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley will not run for Illinois governor after all. His campaign spokesman says Daley will explain more at a press conference in Chicago Tuesday morning.

Bill Daley attended a Democratic County Chairmen Association breakfast this summer during his brief campaign for governor.  Following his speech, Daley said that if Democrats again nominate Gov. Pat Quinn, Republicans will win in the general election.
Bill Daley attended a Democratic County Chairmen Association breakfast this summer during his brief campaign for governor. Following his speech, Daley said that if Democrats again nominate Gov. Pat Quinn, Republicans will win in the general election.
Credit Brian Mackey/WUIS

Daley has flirted with running for office before, only to back out.

This time, he insisted he was in it for keeps. In a campaign video about two months ago, Daley said "I'm committed to running for governor. There is no exploratory piece in this anymore."

But Daley's campaign confirmed Monday night that he's dropping out of the race.

In an interview on WGN-TV, Daley said that although he's been around politics his whole life, "being a candidate is very different and I've come to realize that over the last couple months."

Daley nonetheless maintained his sharp criticism of Illinois' political leaders, especially incumbent Governor Pat Quinn.

"I hope that change occurs for the people of Illinois. They deserve better from their elected officials than they've gotten, both Democrat and Republican, over the last number of years. I think it's been a terrible commentary on our system in the state - the quality of the leadership statewide," he said in the interview.

But without Daley, the field is clear for Quinn to clinch Democratic nomination.

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

This isn't the first time Quinn has lucked out: Attorney General Lisa Madigan - who is popular in polls - long considered challenging him, but ultimately she decided against it. Then there was talk of state Sen. Kwame Raoul entering the race. But he didn't make the leap either, saying he wanted to remain focused on the legislative pension committee he chairs. The former head of Ceasefire, Tio Hardiman, says he's running. Hardiman lost his job at the violence prevention program earlier this year after he was arrested on charges of domestic abuse.

The GOP field for governor has seen no such winnowing; four Republicans are fighting for the nomination.