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Bill Daley Explains Decision to Drop Bid For Illinois Governor

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A day after Bill Daley, one of the most high-profile names in the Illinois gubernatorial race, announced he had taken himself out of the running, he explained his reasoning to reporters. (Published Wednesday, Feb 19, 2014)

    A day after Bill Daley, one of the most high-profile names in the Illinois gubernatorial race, announced he had taken himself out of the running, he explained his reasoning to reporters.

    "It's one thing to be, quite frankly, in the gallery and it's another thing to be on the dance floor," Daley said. "You've got to, if you're honest with yourself, do some soul searching. Is this really you? Is this what you're about?"

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    The former White House chief of staff told reporters at a news conference Tuesday that  while he didn't "get into this campaign with any illusions" he was not prepared "for the enormity of the campaign."

    He said while he believes he could have won the race, he does not expect Gov. Pat Quinn to be re-elected. Actually, he thinks the Republican party could win.

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    "Forgive me for being honest," he said, adding "I don't have a crystal ball...I'll be proven either a genius or an idiot next year."

    When asked if he planned to support another candidate in the race, Daley simply said he's just one vote.

    Gov. Quinn issued a statement Monday saying he "respects Bill Daley's decision."

    "A divisive primary would have only helped Republicans who want to take this state backwards and undo the important progress we have made," the statement read in part.

    Daley was Quinn's foremost challenger in the Democratic primary. Attorney General Lisa Madigan was mulling a run for governor, but decided not to enter the campaign.

    Former Ceasefire director Tio Hardiman is now Quinn's only Democratic challenger.

    Daley said that he plans to return all of his campaign funding.

    His message to the other candidates?

    "There is enormous pain going on out there and we can't forget that."