Pension Chairman Raoul Possible Democratic Challenger

Aug 13, 2013

Chair of the pension conference committee Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) talks with Rep. Elaine Nekritz (D-Northbrook) at a July meeting in Chicago.
Credit Amanda Vinicky/WUIS

  Governor Pat Quinn already has one primary challenger, but there's talk he may get more. 

A lot of politicians are heading to the capital city this week; it's the State Fair, and a time for annual political meetings and rallies.

Democratic Sen. Kwame Raoul was driving down from Chicago Tuesday afternoon, in time for his fundraiser last night at a Springfield bar.

Nothing too unusual about a politician holding a fundraiser -- except most of the other events and receptions in Springfield this week are for people running for governor, including Quinn's one Democratic primary opponent so far, former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley.

Raoul acknowledges he's getting calls from Democrats encouraging him to run for governor too. But he won't say more. 

"This notion of … gubernatorial politics, having conversations about that, um ... that needs to be set aside,” he said.

Raoul is also chairman of a special legislative committee tasked with finding a way to fix the state's drastically underfunded pension systems, and he says he doesn't want to undermine any progress the committee's made.

Members of the committee are set to meet again Wednesday afternoon.