• Downstate dems looking for candidate options

    by  • July 15, 2013 • News

    Gov. Pat Quinn was accused of “pandering” to Chicago voters as he unveiled his hefty changes to Illinois’ concealed carry rules. He promoted his plan with stops at a Chicago neighborhood church, community center, even Wrigley field.

    But that focused attention on Chicago has only fueled long-standing grievances about living under Chicago governors whose interests are statewide.

    The divide isn’t new. Still the gun debate has led to buzz among downstate democrats about finding their own 2014 gubernatorial candidate to compete against Quinn, former white house chief of staff Bill Daley, or possibly attorney general Lisa Madigan.

    Democratic county chairmen outside Chicago say they’re frustrated that they’ve been ignored.

    Jefferson County Democratic Party Chairman Alice Harris says she just wants someone who doesn’t forget about southern Illinois. She says she hasn’t seen Quinn in her territory in months, a complaint often lodged against his predecessor, former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was also from Chicago.

    But any downstate democrat would face big obstacles. That includes a quickly-approaching deadline to file petitions, raising money and name recognition.