Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot is already facing a large field of challengers in the upcoming mayoral election, but a familiar face may join that crowd as former Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn says he is mulling a run.
Quinn, who served as governor after the impeachment of Rod Blagojevich and who was defeated by Republican Bruce Rauner in 2014, says that he will make his final decision within a matter of weeks as petitions begin to circulate for candidates.
“I think Chicago needs someone who can step in and rescue our city,” he said.
Quinn says that polling data shows a strong performance if he were to jump into the race.
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“I did a poll earlier, just recently, and I had 42% and I think the incumbent mayor had 31%,” he said.
Volunteers are already circulating petitions for Quinn, even though he has not made a formal decision on whether to run.
Quinn won statewide office on several occasions, including his bid to become treasurer in 1990 and to become lieutenant governor in 2002.
After Blagojevich was removed from office in Jan. 2009, Quinn assumed the reins and won reelection in a tightly-contested battle with Republican Bill Brady.
Quinn would ultimately lose the governorship in 2014 to Rauner, and he later launched a failed bid to become Illinois’ attorney general after he lost to Kwame Raoul in the 2018 primary race to replace Lisa Madigan in the role.
The former governor says that he isn’t daunted by the number of candidates currently running to replace Lightfoot.
“It’s a free country. Anybody can run,” he said. “I think it’s healthy to have competition.”
Ald. Tom Tunney and Brian Hopkins are among the other contenders still mulling whether to run. Paul Vallas, who ran as Quinn’s lieutenant governor when he lost the 2014 election, is officially in the race.