Quinn Likes Duckworth

Quinn doesn't have a lot of say, however

By Andrew Greiner and Mary Ann Ahern
|  Tuesday, Feb 9, 2010  |  Updated 10:52 AM CDT
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Seeing Red: Republicans Who Could Reshape Illinois Politics

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Should Pat Quinn emerge from his primary battle with Dan Hynes victorious, will he be able to overcome the damage done during the ugly battle in which he was accused of being fiscally incompetent? Can he shrug off the Blagojevich demons and win a full term?

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Governor Pat Quinn Monday demurred when asked his choice to replace cast-off Lt. Gov. nominee Scott Lee Cohen.

"I think its important that anyone interested in replacing him speak up. I believe in teamwork."

Privately, however, Quinn is favor selecting Illinois State Veterans Chief Tammy Duckworth.

Duckworth is a double amputee Iraq War veteran who ran for Congress in 2006. Last year she was chosen as the assistant secretary at the U.S. Department of Veterans affairs for the Obama administration.

Quinn, who has a good record with veterans, secretly wanted Duckworth as a running mate even before the primary season.

"The governor has an incredibly high regard for Duckworth, a bona fide war hero," the source said. "Gov. Quinn is dedicated to the American soldier -- and the office of lieutenant governor is transformable into taking on that task during this time of war."

Despite his predilection, Quinn doesn’t have a lot of say in the matter. Democratic slate makers will ultimately choose the person they feel is best to fill the spot. That means House Speaker Michael Madigan, the state Democratic chairman, the Chicago Tribune reports.

It’s a tricky gambit. For one, there is no shortage of Democrats who covet the position, including five other candidates who lost to Cohen, who could raise a ruckus over the process. But perhaps more troubling is a potential voter backlash if it looks as though the party happily subjugated the voting process.

A replacement will no likely be named until after all the primary votes have been certified, a process that will take until March 5, and until Cohen officially bows out of the race – he’s still got paper work to file before his exit becomes the real deal.
 

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