Daley makes candidacy for governor official

2013-07-30T13:30:00Z 2013-08-22T21:37:47Z Daley makes candidacy for governor officialThe Associated Press The Associated Press
July 30, 2013 1:30 pm  • 

CHICAGO | Former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley filed documents Tuesday declaring himself an official candidate to challenge Gov. Pat Quinn in next year's Democratic primary.

More than a month after he released a videotaped announcement that he'd opened an exploratory committee, Daley filed the paperwork hours after releasing another video late Monday in which he said "there is no exploratory piece of this anymore."

Daley has been acting like a candidate in recent weeks, holding news conferences in which he has criticized Quinn for his handling of the state's pension crisis and other issues. In the latest video, that was his theme again, saying the fact that the state Legislature adjourned in May without finding a solution on state pensions or vote on same-sex marriage represents a 'dysfunction."

"I think the biggest problem right now is the lack of leadership," he said in the 54-second video, during which he never mentioned Quinn by name.

Quinn hasn't spoken about his 2014 plans in detail aside from saying the best way to campaign is to continue doing his job as governor.

"Nobody's built more as governor of our state than I have," he told reporters Tuesday after an unrelated event in Chicago.

Daley's campaign spokesman Pete Giangreco said Daley filed paperwork on Tuesday with the Illinois Board of Elections to remove the exploratory committee label from his campaign.

Giangreco said that a number of factors prompted Daley to jump into the race. He said Daley was encouraged by his ability to raise about $800,000 in less than three weeks, as well as his reception by mayors and others in visits he made to 11 downstate counties.

"He went through all that and (concluded) it all added up to a vibrant, and viable candidacy," Giangreco said.

Daley is thus far Quinn's only 2014 Democratic primary challenger. Earlier this month, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, who was widely considered Quinn's most serious challenger if she ran, announced that she had decided not to. In an emailed statement, she said she never planned on running if her father, longtime House Speaker Michael Madigan, remained in his job.

A member of Chicago's first political family, Daley's brother, Richard M. Daley, and father, Richard J. Daley, were each mayor for more than 20 years and are widely considered among the most powerful mayors in American history.

While Bill Daley, the youngest son of Richard J. Daley, has flirted with runs for political office, including governor of Illinois, he never has done so. He has appeared more comfortable in supporting roles, spending years as a Democratic operative. He also was tapped by President Bill Clinton in his first term to push the North American Free Trade Agreement through Congress, and selected after Clinton's re-election to be secretary of commerce, a post he held from January 1997 to July 2000.

President Barack Obama chose him as his chief of staff to replace Rahm Emanuel after Emanuel stepped down to run for Chicago mayor when Daley's brother decided not to seek a seventh term.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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