Durbin pumping up Lisa Madigan for gubernatorial run
1 month, 3 weeks ago
Illinois' senior senator says he "not likely to" endorse fellow Democrat Gov. Pat Quinn in a re-election bid
Senate Majority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) pointedly declined Wednesday to endorse Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn and said Attorney General Lisa Madigan could be the only Democratic challenger if she chooses to run against the embattled governor next year.
William Daley, President Barack Obama’s former Chief of Staff and a Chicago political powerhouse, has expressed his interest in taking on Quinn but Durbin suggested that would be unlikely if Madigan runs.
f she gets in the race, she is likely to be the only challenger,” Durbin told reporters at a Washington breakfast put on by the Wall Street Journal. “I don’t think Bill Daley will get in the race. But I leave that up to him.”
Illinois is facing a state employees’ pension crisis and the political fallout has sent Quinn’s approval ratings tumbling. Many Democrats in both Washington and Illinois are hoping the party can nominate a stronger candidate in 2014 than the incumbent.
“Illinois is going through a period here, as I mentioned earlier, with our legislature in Springfield and our governor that’s as hard a political assignment as I’ve ever seen, dealing with this pension problem,” Durbin said, adding: “There’s a feeling that the governor needs to show leadership and produce results in order to merit renomination and reelection.”
Asked after the breakfast whether he would offer an endorsement in the race, the veteran senator said he was not likely to. As for whether Quinn was seeking his support, Durbin said: “It hasn’t happened yet, and I don’t expect it to.”