Illinois Republicans Want to Face Daley in Governor's Race

Wednesday, 10 Jul 2013 04:33 PM

By John Gizzi

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With all the press attention given to the high-dollar fundraising for Illinois Democratic gubernatorial hopeful Bill Daley, Republicans in the state have begun to talk about facing the former Obama White House chief of staff in 2014. And they love it.

Noting that incumbent Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn has not ruled out a bid for re-election and Democratic state Attorney General Lisa Madigan is seriously eying a bid for governor, Hinsdale businessman Jim Nalepa, a candidate for state Republican chairman, told Newsmax: "In 2014, if the Democrats choose Pat Quinn or Lisa Madigan, Illinoisans get to have a referendum on the disaster made in Springfield. But with Bill Daley as the Democratic nominee, one gets to vote on Chicago-style politics and the disaster made in Washington by the Obama agenda as well."

Nalepa is an active booster of the candidacy of state Sen. Kirk Dillard, one of four Republicans vying for nomination for governor next February.

Referring to reports Tuesday of Daley getting major donations from such powerful figures as the Pritzker hotel family and Lowes Chairman Jonathan Tisch, Nalepa told Newsmax that "while Bill Daley plays well with the power brokers in Chicago, you hear nothing but negative things about him when you get outside the city." Daley is the brother and son of two longtime mayors of Chicago.

Republican Rep. Aaron Schock of Illinois told Newsmax that the state economy will be the key issue in next year's gubernatorial election.

"It is the people of Illinois who have almost double the unemployment of our neighbor Iowa, and who live in a state hemorrhaging jobs because of a 67 percent state income tax hike that still did not come close to fixing the state's approaching insolvency," Schock said. "These are things that are going to make the difference in this next election in Illinois."

Schock was quick to cite Daley's role in the Obama administration as a plus for the eventual Republican candidate.

"Total one-party Democrat rule of Illinois for over a decade has brought disaster to the people of Illinois and unfortunately that Chicago Way is the course our federal government is on with Barack Obama in the White House," Schock said. "Bill Daley was not able to make a positive difference as chief of staff in the White House and he is not the man who can fix Illinois."

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