A pawn broker who won Illinois' Democratic primary for lieutenant governor only to withdraw amid scandal allegations announced Monday he would run for governor as an independent.
Scott Lee Cohen quit the lieutenant governor's race in February amid accusations that he had failed to pay child support, taken steroids and held a knife to his girlfriend's throat.
Cohen, who admitted to past steroid use but denied the other allegations, stepped down because of political pressure.
"Everybody, everybody makes mistakes in their life. Everybody's entitled to a second chance and everybody is entitled to redemption," Cohen said while announcing his bid outside the state of Illinois building in downtown Chicago.
But it won't be easy for Cohen to get the political redemption he's seeking. He must collect 25,000 signatures from registered voters by June 21 to get on the November ballot.
If he's successful, Cohen would face Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, Republican state Sen. Bill Brady and Green Party candidate Rich Whitney.
Cohen said he concerned about possibly scuttling Democrats' chances in November by siphoning off votes from Quinn in what is shaping up to be a tight race.
"What's truly important is not the Democratic Party, not the Republican Party and not myself. It's the people of Illinois who are important," he said.
Cohen has not picked a running mate and he said anyone interested in the job should reach out to him.
He defended his qualifications to be governor by asking, "What was Arnold Schwarzenegger's qualifications for being governor," referring to California's governor.
Chicago resident Thomas Hudson said he wasn't swayed by Cohen's latest bid for office.
"It's too late to be jumping around, if he wanted to stay in he should have just stayed in as lieutenant governor," Hudson said.
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