CHICAGO — Former Illinois Governor Pat Quinn, who was defeated in the 2014 gubernatorial race and unsuccessfully ran in the Democratic primary for Illinois Attorney General in 2018, announced his political ambitions for 2023.
The 74-year-old says he will not run for Chicago Mayor, opting instead to revert to his roots as an advocate for taxpayers and public referendums.
“You can’t organize those kinds of causes if you’re also running for public office,” he said at a press conference from the Allegro Hotel in downtown Chicago. “So, after much thought, I’ve decided not to run for mayor of Chicago.”
WGN political analyst Paul Lisnek says never to count out Quinn, even when he’s on the sideline.
“I think the smart money in this decision was on Quinn deciding that he would enter the race,” Lisnek said. “I think it’s a bit of a surprise to find out, but he chose not to.”
The former governor says he wants to focus on getting signatures to build support for creating a “Taxpayer Advocate” as other cities have done.
“I think a taxpayer advocate campaign to put it on the ballot is something that will resound with public approval,” Quinn said.
The popularity of that effort could give Quinn’s mayoral endorsement considerable weight, analysts say, as all 12 candidates, including incumbent Chicago Mayor Lori Lightfoot, will all be competing to get his endorsement.
Quinn also discussed several areas he feels need to be addressed, including term limits for Chicago’s mayor, a refund to ComEd customers, and a reduction in property taxes in Cook County. He adds that he plans to focus on petition drives to get local referendums and other measures on community ballots across Illinois.
Watch his entire announcement in the video below.