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Nothing “potential” or exploratory about it, Bill Daley says he’s running for governor

Former White House chief staff Bill Daley. File photo. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green File)

Former White House chief of staff Bill Daley. File photo. (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green, File)

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Updated: September 17, 2013 7:48PM



Signaling he is definitely running for governor, Bill Daley on Tuesday changed the name of his campaign committee from the William M. Daley Exploratory Committee to Bill Daley for Illinois and released a new campaign video.

In the paperwork he filed with the Illinois State Board of Elections Tuesday morning, Daley also changed the purpose of his committee from “potential run for governor” to “run for governor.”

Beyond the semantics, the former White House chief of staff is trying to convey that he’s not waffling; he’s committed to running for governor. It’s an important for donors who are still reeling from Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s sudden disappearance from the potential list of candidates, especially because Daley has a reputation for flirting with runs for office, but never actually doing so.

Gov. Pat Quinn has said he will run for re-election. But the withdrawal of Madigan — whom Daley considered his biggest threat in the Democratic primary — gives Daley, a brother and son of past Chicago mayors, a much greater edge.

“So I’m committed to running for governor, there is no exploratory piece of this anymore. The response I’ve gotten from people throughout the state has been very positive,” Daley says in a video.

The name change in and of itself doesn’t amount to much, says David Morrison, of the Illinois Campaign for Political Reform.

“We don’t really have exploratory committees in Illinois, so they can call it exploratory, it doesn’t affect contribution limits, it doesn’t change anything anyway,” Morrison told the Sun-Times. “It’s more of a marketing problem, than a real one.”

After Labor Day those who want to appear on the ballot are likely to start circulating petitions to get their names on the ballot. The petitions must be filed with the state between Nov. 25 and Dec. 2.

Until then: “All you have to do to run for governor is say you’re running,” Morrison said.



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