Kwame Raoul not entering governor’s race

Aug 29, 2013

State Sen. Kwame Raoul watched candidate speeches from the back of the room at the Democratic County Chairmen’s Association annual brunch earlier this month in Springfield. He was considering a run for governor at the time, but on Thursday said he will not seek the office.
Credit (Brian Mackey/Illinois Public Radio)
A potential Democratic challenger for Illinois governor has taken himself out of contention.  State Senator Kwame Raoul had been flirting with a run for nearly a month. But he ended that Thursday. IPR’ Brian Mackey has more: 

 Raoul represents the Hyde Park neighborhood of Chicago. A lawyer, he's been heading up the special committee trying to find a compromise plan to deal with the state's pension problem.

His name has been quietly suggested as a candidate for governor here and there. But things really picked up steam in August. Raoul did nothing to tamp down the speculation, even showing up at a big Democratic meeting in Springfield earlier this month wearing a "Raoul for Illinois" polo shirt. He said he was still deciding.

 "I didn't enter this year, I didn't enter this summer, I didn't enter this month, thinking that I was going to be running for governor, or even considering running for governor."

 Now Raoul says he's not running. In a statement, he says he'll focus on the pension issue "until the job is done."

The departure means there are only two other candidates in the race — Quinn and former White House chief of staff Bill Daley. The primary election is March 18.