Durbin won’t rule out challenging Rauner for Governor

By John Dempsey, WLS-AM 890 News

(CHICAGO) Illinois Democratic U.S. Senator Dick Durbin is not closing the door on the possibility that he may step down from the Senate to run for Illinois Governor against Republican Bruce Rauner in 2018.

Durbin told WLS News in an interview on Monday that he doesn’t want to comment on the rumors, saying “I can tell you for sure that I’m not focused at all on 2018. An election that happens to be 28 months away or 30 months away, whatever it happens to be, is not even on my radar screen. I’m focused on this November, continuing to do my job in Washington to try and help this great state that gave me the honor of serving as Senator.”

Durbin was then asked for the record if he is ruling out a challenge against Rauner, and he said. “Not even commenting on the possibility. I’m focusing on my job, and what I was elected to do.”

Powerful Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan told reporters he has spoken with Durbin about a Gubernatorial run, and says Durbin would be “uniquely qualified.”

Madigan’s daughter, Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has frequently been mentioned as a potential candidate for Governor but she has said she has no interest in the office as long as her father keeps his post as Speaker, a job the 74 year old Madigan has shown no signs of relinquishing.