In an advertisement released Monday night, Bill Daley, former Chief of Staff to President Obama and brother of former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley, announced an exploratory committee to run for governor of Illinois. Daley has never held public office, but as the son and brother of two former Chicago mayors, Daley is a well connected member of Illinois’ powerful and elite ruling class.
Daley has spoken harshly against inaction in Springfield and Governor Pat Quinn’s inability to implement pension reform.
In his announcement, Daley boasts of launching President Obama’s “We Can’t Wait” campaign during his time in the White House, possibly foreshadowing an Obama-style reign if Daley is elected governor in Illinois.
The Republican congress tried to grind the federal government to a halt, so we launched the “We Can’t Wait” campaign. On issue after issue, President Obama took executive action when the congress failed to act. We need that same urgency in Illinois, we can’t wait for the legislature to get well on its own…
Daley lists three campaign initiatives, posturing himself in line with the liberal politics of Chicago and Barack Obama:
I’m asking you to join me, if you agree with me that we can’t wait to fix this pension mess, join this campaign, if you agree that we can’t wait for marriage equality… take on the scourge of illegal guns, join this campaign.
ABC Chicago reported Tuesday morning that Daley spokesman Pete Giangreco said, “Daley was ‘100 percent’ in the race.”
It is still unclear who else will fill the field in the race for governor. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has been expected to enter the race on the Democrat ticket but has yet to make any announcement.
For Republicans, close personal friend and ally to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, Bruce Rauner, has announced his candidacy, along with State Treasurer Dan Rutherford. Former GOP candidate Bill Brady is also expected to enter the race.