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State Sen. Kwame Raoul to decide soon whether he’ll run for gov

Illinois Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago)  |  Seth Perlman~AP

Illinois Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) | Seth Perlman~AP

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Updated: September 20, 2013 6:28AM



State Sen. Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) said Sunday he will decide whether to run for governor within about 10 days.

Raoul had said he would put off a decision on his political future until the Illinois General Assembly’s pension conference committee, which he chairs, completes its work. But with no resolution to the pension debate in sight, Raoul told the Chicago Sun-Times he has a new deadline for deciding whether to challenge Gov. Pat Quinn in next year’s Democratic primary.

“I give myself 10 days or so to make up my mind,” Raoul said. “This is something that’s spiraling out of my control. I don’t think it does the party or the state any good to let it linger very long.”

Raoul said he was offended that Sun-Times columnist Laura Washington suggested his running for governor would help challenger Bill Daley, by undermining Quinn’s support among black voters.

“The notion that I would be characterized as a spoiler ­— it’s a bit of an insult,” he said.

Raoul, whose parents are from Haiti, said he pushed successfully for legislation that helped people of all races since succeeding Barack Obama in the state Senate in 2004.

Raoul’s remarks came at a South Side park where Quinn signed a new gun-safety law that Raoul sponsored. At a news conference, the governor said Raoul did more than anyone to win the measure’s approval.

When asked in an interview to rate Quinn’s record in office, Raoul replied, “I think the governor came into office under very challenging circumstances . . . He shouldn’t get all the credit. He shouldn’t get all the blame.”

Email: dmihalopoulos@suntimes.com

Twitter: @dmihalopoulos



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