Term Limits
12:52 pm
Fri December 20, 2013

It Would Take Four Wins For Quinn To Grab Longest-Serving Governor Title

Credit Amanda Vinicky

  Gov. Pat Quinn is leaving the door open to running for governor three times, but even that would not put him on pace to set a record as the state's longest-serving chief executive.

Amanda Vinicky reports on why it's likely that former Gov. Jim Thompson will continue to hold onto his record as longest-serving Illinois governor, even if current Gov. Pat Quinn is politically successful in the next decade.

It may seem a bit premature to think about. Though it's expected Quinn will be Democrats' nominee in 2014, he could well be unseated and never clinch a full, second term as governor.

But when a reporter asked about it, Quinn refused to say if this will be his last time running.

"I think you have to pass a term limit amendment, then that starts the clock," he said.

Because then-lieutenant governor Quinn took over for Rod Blagojevich in 2009, he already has an extra two years under his belt. So if he does win and complete a second full-term, he would have been governor for a decade.

Still, even if he did win a third, full term on top of it -- meaning Quinn would remain Illinois' governor through 2022 (or 5,093 days) -- he would be nearly a month shy of Republican Gov. Jim Thompson's record of more 14 years and four days (for 5,117 days total) in office.

One of Quinn's opponents, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner, is pushing for term limits -- his proposed constitutional amendment calls for limiting legislators to eight years in office.

Quinn's stance on term limits is notable considering that back in the '90s, Quinn had proposed limiting statewide candidates to eight years in office. Rauner's camp calls Quinn a career politician.