Bill Daley drops out of governor’s race
BY DAVE MCKINNEY, MICHAEL SNEED AND NATASHA KORECKI Sun-Times September 16, 2013 8:42PM
Bill Daley in July. | Natasha Korecki~Sun-Times files
Updated: October 18, 2013 6:36AM
In a stunning political development, former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley is dropping out of the governor’s race.
When asked if he was throwing his hat out of the ring, Daley said emphatically:
Daley, the brother of former Mayor Richard M. Daley, scheduled a news conference for Tuesday morning at the Union League Club. His spokesman refused to say why Daley was pulling the plug on his candidacy, insisting the former Commerce Secretary would explain his decision on Tuesday.
“Faced with the prospect of five or nine years to try to dig the state out of the mess that he’s in, Bill decided that’s not what he’s wanting to do at age 65,” said campaign spokesman Pete Giangreco.
Giangreco denied that fund-raising, health or Gov. Pat Quinn being too formidable a candidate were factors in Daley’s decision.
“None of the above,” Giangreco said.
Daley’s exit comes just 98 days after he announced : “I’m in this race, OK?”
His reversal leaves Quinn with no major opposition. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan previously opted not to challenge the governor in the Democratic primary.
His only remaining challenger is former CeaseFire executive director Tio Hardiman.
Quinn has suffered from lackluster poll numbers, but he had been expected to win the party’s endorsement at the state Democratic Party’s slatemaking session on Sunday.
Daley has flirted with running for governor repeatedly over the years, but has never taken the plunge. He formed an exploratory committee in June, but assured reporters he was in to stay.
“I’m in this race, OK?” Daley, told the Sun-Times in June. “Yes, it’s an exploratory committee, because that’s how you start. You don’t run, you walk.”
It turns out, he’s doing neither.