By John Dempsey, WLS-AM 890 News
(CHICAGO) There’s a new report that says longtime Illinois Democratic U.S. Senator Dick Durbin could possibly run for Governor in two years.
WTTW Channel Eleven broke the story quoting Democratic party and union sources who say Durbin would be a perfect candidate to challenge Republican Governor Bruce Rauner in 2018.
In a WTTW interview, Durbin did not entirely shoot the idea down, saying “I have a great job to be the senior Senator from this state, to be in Washington and help this state in a lot of different ways. I have no aspirations for any other office and I would beg the people who are doing all the speculation to cool it. Let’s focus on the immediate need to get a state budget.”
However Durbin also criticized Rauner for his role in the current state budget standoff. “I believe this Governor has a passion against labor unions, has a passion about lowering the wages of working people, and I just don’t agree with that approach at all.”
Rauner talked about the rumors this morning on “The Big John Howell show on WLS.
“I don’t pay any attention to rumors, you know, I’m just focused on doin’ my job, and gettin’ our state healthy again.”
Durbin is currently 71 years old but the Channel Eleven report says he’s growing tired of Washington after four terms in the Senate.
Durbin also was passed over for the top Democratic position in the U.S. Senate after Senate Minority Leader Harry Reid announced his retirement.
That job will now go to New York Sen. Chuck Schumer, and there is no guarantee Schumer would back Durbin in an effort by the Senator to keep his current number two position as Senate Democratic whip.
See the WTTW report here.