Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Opinion: Lisa Madigan Will Always Be the Next Governor of Illinois

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan is said to be interested in the job of Governor of Illinois.

    Lisa Madigan is the next governor of Illinois, and always will be.

    She is leading in polls against Gov. Pat Quinn and former Commerce Secretary Bill Daley.

    After three straight walkover races as attorney general, the Sun-Times reports that Madigan has nearly $5 million in her campaign fund, much more than either of her rivals.

    Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s campaign reported Monday taking in nearly $530,000 in new contributions, according to campaign records. Add another $100k since April 1 and the fund-raising surge puts Lisa Madigan in striking distance of $5 million in total cash-on-hand when the reporting period ends. The total outpaces two other Democratic gubernatorial potential candidates: Gov. Pat Quinn and William Daley, however Quinn held his own in larger donations over the last few weeks.

    Insiders have said the attorney general was working to close out the second period in commanding fashion, hoping to reach $5 million. The filing deadline for the second period is July 15th.

    The newest campaign disclosures include a $52,600 boost from DRIVE Teamsters Political Action Committee, another $10,600 from SEIU and tens of thousands more from teachers unions and other employee unions.

    Madigan, however, has not yet announced whether she’s running for governor. And she’s refusing to comment on the state’s conceal carry bill or its pension crisis, saying those issue are “in the hands of the legislature.” Also, her father, House Speaker Michael Madigan, has not indicated that he’ll retire from the legislature, which would be essential to her winning the governorship.

    My feeling is that Madigan could win the Democratic nomination for governor next year, but would lose to a Republican..

    My feeling is also that Madigan has the same feeling. 2014 is going to be a Republican year. President Barack Obama won’t be on the ballot, and he’ll be in the sixth year of his administration – a time when voters are growing weary of the party in power. Here in Illinois, voters blame 10 years of one-party Democratic control for the state’s pension crisis and its $9 billion in unpaid bills. And since Madigan’s father controls the legislature, it will be difficult for her to present herself as a candidate of change.

    Lisa Madigan will have no challengers for a fourth term, which would make her the longest-serving attorney general in Illinois history. Plus, she has two young children, a home in expensive North Center, and is married to a cartoonist, so she needs the $156,000-a-year salary.

    Prediction: Four years from now, we’ll still be talking about whether Madigan will run for governor.