IL Secretary of State Jesse White taking neutral position on race for Governor

Aug 6, 2013

A top Illinois Democrat says he's not choosing sides in the Governor's race, where incumbent Pat Quinn is facing a challenge from former U.S. Commerce Secretary Bill Daley. IPR’s Amanda Vinicky reports:

You could argue that Secretary of State Jesse White is the most popular politician in Illinois - in 2002 he won in each of Illinois' 102 counties. He's rolled to victories each time since.

So an endorsement from him could be helpful as Quinn and Daley battle in the Democratic primary. But for them, no such luck.

"As they like to say in Jamaica, 'I'm going to take it easy, man.' Which means that I'm going to take the neutral position,” White says. “I'm a candidate and I don't want to alienate another candidate and the other candidates' followers by siding with one over the other."

A calculation that explains why taking no position is a popular path for politicians. Needless to say, White's not the only Democrat in a statewide office that's staying out of it - at least so far.

Quinn's Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon recently refused to say if she'll back her former running mate for re-election.   Simon's running for Comptroller in 2014.