Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Lisa Madigan 'Seriously Considering' Run For Illinois Governor

Illinois Attorney General gave no timetable as to when decision may be made

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Illinois Attorney General says she's "seriously considering" a run for the statehouse but declined to give a timeframe. She also responded to reporters' questions about the state's ongoing pension crisis and her father's role, as Speaker of the House, in crafting a bill Gov. Pat Quinn can sign into law.

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Attorney General Lisa Madigan hasn't made an official decision to run for Illinois governor in 2014, but on the same day Bill Daley all but threw his hat in the ring, she said the race is still on her mind.

"I'm very seriously considering running for governor," Madigan told reporters.

It's a sentiment the daughter of House Speaker Michael Madigan has echoed in the past, though a campaign aide later clarified the comment by saying Madigan's "first priority is focusing on her job as attorney general."

As for Daley's announcement that he formed a committee to explore his own gubernatorial run, Madigan's aide called it "an interesting move given that polls have shown Mr. Daley does not fare well either in a two- or three-way race."

The exploratory committee allows Daley to start raising money for the race before Madigan makes her decision. He noted in a campaign video that it's time for action and urgency in the state and said he's highly critical of what little got done in Springfield during the last legislative session.

"We can no longer stand idly by while our pension debt bankrupts our schools and robs our children of a better future," Daley said.

“We need a governor who gets things done,” he said.

Gov. Pat Quinn's campaign shot back at the comment, stating the current governor "has a strong record of getting big things done for the people of Illinois."

"Gov. Quinn continues to lead the fight for comprehensive pension reform, marriage equality and gun-safety and he will not stop fighting until these are law."

As for the Republican side of the race, candidate Bruce Rauner said he respects Daley and welcomes him into the race but called the former White House chief of staff a member of the "entrenched Illinois political power structure" that hasn't fixed the state's problems.

"The same old political dynasties have literally had decades to address our economic decline, our pension disaster, and our failing schools," Rauner said. "They haven’t done the job. Illinoisans aren’t going to fall for that again. We need a clean break from the political machines that have been in charge for too long. It’s time to clean house, shake up Springfield, and bring back Illinois.”

Indeed Daley, the son of one Chicago mayor and the brother of another, knows a thing or two about political campaigns. After months on the fence, he says the "political failure" in Illinois prompted his his move.

"We need a governor that takes the field, takes command and gets things done," he said. "And for those that aspire to lead this state, now is the time to proclaim we can’t wait.”

When reporters asked Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel's thoughts on Daley's decision, Emanuel said he would support the Democratic nominee. He called Daley a friend but said he needs to focus on his own mayoral job.

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