Photographs: Rutherford, Brian Cassella/Chicago Tribune; Rauner, Nancy Stone/Chicago Tribune; Daley, Antonio Perez/Chicago Tribune
With venture capitalist Bruce Rauner, state treasurer Dan Rutherford, and former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley all declaring their candidacies in the past few weeks, the Illinois governor’s race in 2014 is beginning to heat up. Here is Chicago’s rundown of who has declared and who is likely to declare before the December deadline.
Illinois State Treasurer
Rutherford announced his candidacy for governor on June 2 at Harry Caray’s in Chicago as he started a three-day tour of Illinois. He touted himself as the only statewide officeholder among the Republican nominees. “It’s hard to win statewide as a Republican, but I can tell you what, I’m positive that we can do it again,” he said, according to the Tribune. Rutherford also boasted about cutting spending and his record of hard work (he offered his working through college to graduate without debt) while criticizing the Republican party for its uncompromising nature on some issues.
Rauner announced his candidacy in June in a YouTube video calling Springfield inept and touting himself as a businessman. “We have to be bold, tough and fundamentally change government because Springfield is broken,” he said. The wealthy venture capitalist has reportedly pledged to fund most of his own campaign and told Chicago in an interview he will focus on re-assessing tax policy to boost job creation.
Illinois State Senator
Brady announced this month he will declare his candidacy by the end of June, according to the Associated Press. He lost to Governor Pat Quinn by 32,000 votes (out of 3.7 million cast) in 2010, but he might be back to finish the job.
Illinois State Senator
Dillard—who lost the 2010 gubernatorial primary by 193 votes to Bill Brady—told the Daily Herald in June he would announce another run for the governor later in the summer. “I will have an announcement sometime this summer after a look at my children’s summer schedule,” Dillard said, adding he’s looking to book time at Hinsdale City Hall for campaign events. Dillard also distinguished himself from the field recently, writes Chicago’s Whet Moser, when he said it’s time for a “first family in a traditional sense” to return to the governor’s residence.
Illinois State Senator
In May, Murphy—who ran unsuccessfully for Lt. Gov. in 2010 — withdrew his name from consideration for GOP chairmanship, potentially to be available to run for a higher office. (He declined to comment on the decision.) “If there is support for me to run, I’d be willing to run, regardless of the term,” Murphy said at the Illinois State Fair in Springfield last August, according to the Daily Herald.
Former U.S. Representative
Walsh mulled entering the race for governor in an interview with the Daily Herald the day after losing his seat in Congress. “People approach me every day and ask, “Walsh, are you going to run for the governor? Are you going to run for Senate?” he said. “I want to do my part to lead a movement to present a vision to this. I’d rather go down fighting.” In March, Walsh signed on as host of a Rolling Meadows-based political radio show and told the Daily Herald that it would not affect a future bid.
WLS Radio Talk show host
Proft, who discussed his possible candidacy with Chicago at length in April, ran in 2010 and may return. The reported $459,020 in his campaign fund at the end of the first quarter doesn’t hurt either. He told the Sun-Times that he’s a fresh face for Springfield.
Quinn announced his bid for re-election in November. At a book signing at the Sangamo Club at the end of that month, Quinn told the State Journal-Register: “I said earlier I don’t plan to change the title. It’s a tough job, and I volunteered to do it, and I think I’m doing a good job under the circumstances and want to continue.”
Former White House Chief of Staff to President Obama
Daley announced this week that he is forming an exploratory committee to challenge Gov. Pat Quinn, according to the Tribune. The former White House Chief of Staff had been considering a run for months and had previously said he would wait until state Attorney General Lisa Madigan declared her intentions. But Daley told the Tribune last week he would no longer prolong a decision after the most recent legislative session ended without resolution on pension reform and gay marriage. “The people of Illinois can’t wait,” he said in a video announcing the bid. “This will be a campaign of action and urgency.”
Illinois Attorney General
Madigan has yet to state her intentions, but speculation has been strong that she may enter the fray. Chicago Business Insider reported in March that Madigan has been making phone calls to well-connected donors and visited Washington, D.C., to meet officials from Emily’s List, a group that supports female candidates for higher office, and the League of Conservation Voters. “She’s making moves that would be difficult for her to undo,” one anonymous Democratic strategist told the Chicago Business Insider.
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