Sen. Dick Durbin’s office quelled rumors Wednesday that the Democratic leader is considering a run for Illinois governor in 2018.
Durbin deflected questions about a potential bid Monday at the Democratic National Convention, but reports have continued to surface about a possible gubernatorial run in 2018.
On Wednesday, the senator’s office claimed that Durbin is solely focused on the upcoming November election and continuing his service as a Democratic leader in the Senate.
“He’s totally focused on retaking the majority and then continuing to serve the caucus as whip,” Durbin spokesman Ben Marter said in a statement. “The governor rumors are coming from people in Illinois who would like to see him run, but he’s just not thinking about it.”
House Speaker Mike Madigan, who also serves as Democratic Party chairman, said Durbin was “uniquely qualified” for the role of governor, the Chicago Tribune reports. Madigan noted that he and Durbin talked about the possibility as recently as “a few months ago.”
Speculation about who will take on Gov. Bruce Rauner in the 2018 gubernatorial election has intensified this week at the DNC. The list of rumored candidates from the convention includes Madigan’s daughter, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan, advisor to President Barack Obama Valerie Jarrett, State Sen. Kawme Raoul and businessman Chris Kennedy.