ILLINOIS–(ENEWSPF)–January 17, 2017
Former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn
State Sen. Kwame Raoul, a Chicago Democrat who succeeded none other than Barack Obama in the Illinois state Senate, has been mentioned as a possible statewide candidate for a while, but has never gone for it. However, at a recent breakfast honoring Martin Luther King Jr., Raoul didn’t rule out a bid against GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner, saying that he doesn’t “ever close any doors.”
Ex-Gov. Pat Quinn, who lost his seat to Rauner 50-46, was also at the event, and Quinn didn’t rule out a comeback. When asked if he’s interested in a rematch, Quinn said he would “take a look at that at the right time.” Just before the 2014 election, Quinn posted an anemic 31-54 approval rating in PPP’s final poll. Quinn also had a turbulent relationship with labor, and he did not please teachers’ unions when he chose former Chicago Public Schools chief Paul Vallas, who hails from the Michelle Rhee school of education “reform,” as his running mate in 2014. (Case in point: This week, Rauner appointed Vallas to the Chicago State University Board of Trustees and is recommending him to serve as chair.) The Democratic primary to face Rauner may be crowded and if Quinn runs, his name recognition could help him slip through with a plurality. Still, it’s unclear if there is anyone who actually wants Quinn to run again, except for maybe Bruce Rauner.
Two other Democrats were also at the breakfast and publicly confirmed their interest for the first time. Billionaire J.B. Pritzker, who is probably the only Democrat capable of outspending the wealthy Rauner, said he was “willing to step up because we’ve got to win.” Businessman Chris Kennedy, a son of the late Robert F. Kennedy, also said he was still considering whether or not to run. Last month, an unnamed Kennedy aide told Politico that Kennedy was planning to announce his campaign after New Year’s Day. However, there were similar reports back in 2009 that Kennedy was about to announce a Senate bid, but he didn’t end up running.
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