WASHINGTON — Bill Daley, Barack Obama’s former White House Chief of Staff and son and brother of former mayors of Chicago, announced he is not going to run for Illinois’ governor in 2014.
Reuters reported that Daley realized the precarious and unenviable position of Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, who is facing a massive pension crisis and state budgetary problem. His gubernatorial campaign lasted only a couple of months.
The spokesman for Daley, Peter Giangreco, said that the “enormity” of the governorship was too much to bear. He went on to say:
“He got into this race and realized the enormity of … committing five to nine years of his life because that is what it’s going to take to dig Illinois out of this deep, deep hole we’re in”
Illinois faces a pension liability of $100 billion and has one of the lowest debt ratings in the entire U.S. The highly unpopular Pat Quinn is the only Democratic candidate that has a shot at election, and he replaced the corrupt Rod Blagojevich when Blagojevich was impeached then sent off to prison. Quinn won election in 2010 after serving his interim term.
Daley’s exit from the race leaves Quinn as the only major candidate running in the Democratic primary in March. Quinn was the lieutenant governor before being appointed governor when Democrat Rod Blagojevich was impeached and ultimately removed from office by Illinois lawmakers in 2009. Quinn won the gubernatorial election in 2010.
Four Republicans are facing off for the chance to challenge Quinn: Businessman Bruce Rauner, Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford, state Senators Kirk Dillard and Bill Brady. Brady barely lost to Quinn in 2010 by less than 1% of the vote.