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Quinn Loses His Running Mate for 2014

Given the pathetic slate of potential Democratic candidates in Wisconsin to challenge Walker, I may start observing the upcoming gubernatorial election in Illinois more.  Frankly, it is going to be one hell of a fight down there.

For starter’s you have the Chicago Machine, you have the Obama Machine, and you have the Quinn Machine (what’s left of it) all fighting for control of the Land of Lincoln — and that’s before you add the Republicans to the picture.

The main focus at the moment is how long sitting Gov. Pat Quinn can hang on.  The guy’s pretty much hated by everyone.  He’s all but bankrupt the state (in the name of saving public employee unions) and has the lowest approval rating of any governor in the country.

Today, he lost his running mate for 2014.

Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon will not run again with unpopular incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn.

“I believe I’ve been effective as lieutenant governor and can be more effective in other office and I look forward to that. Thank you,” Sheila Simon said Wednesday morning. And with that, Simon’s three minute and eight second news conference was over. She’s moving on- but she didn’t say where.

“Well, it didn’t come as a surprise,” Gov. Quinn said. The split with the governor comes as Quinn struggles with a poor approval rating and the possibility of two high-profile primary challenges.

Quinn is also under siege from his biggest ally in his last race: public employee unions that picketed his event Wednesday. Sources close to the governor say he hopes to find an African-American running mate to shore up his increasingly shrinking base.

“I have a job to do on policy. And I think that’s what people want their governor to do. Not politics, policy,” Gov. Quinn said.

The Simon surprise comes as a new poll – conducted by The Paul Simon Public Policy Institute , a downstate policy group named for Simon’s father – shows: Among Democrats, Lisa Madigan is the favorite in the race for governor with 32-percent support; Quinn gets 23-percent; and former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley gets 12-percent of primary voters. Twenty-eight percent say they’re still undecided.

Come on, be honest with yourself.  This is going to be a heck of a lot more exciting than waiting to see if Peter Barca runs as a sacrificial lamb, right?

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