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Republican U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock opts not to run for governor

Illinois Rep. AarSchock  |  Seth Perlman~AP

Illinois Rep. Aaron Schock | Seth Perlman~AP

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Updated: April 26, 2013 1:28AM

The Republican Party is losing one of its potential front-running candidates for governor.

U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock has opted not to seek the governor’s mansion, sources told the Chicago Sun-Times.

The young GOP rising star is expected to make a formal announcement Friday.

“He said back in the fall he was going to see whether he thought he could do more good running for re-election for Congress or running for governor,” Schock aide Steve Shearer told the Peoria Star late Thursday.

Schock, 31, ultimately decided to remain on Capitol Hill, where he serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, said Shearer, Schock’s chief of staff and campaign manager.

But the young third-term Peoria congressman also faced the reality of a crowded GOP field — and a tough general election race if he prevailed.

Republicans still potentially in the running include state Treasurer Dan Rutherford; state Sen. Kirk Dillard, of Hinsdale; state Sen. Bill Brady, of Bloomington; Winnetka millionaire Bruce Rauner, and WLS-AM (890) radio talk show host Dan Proft.

Rauner has already formed an exploratory committee stocked with business leaders capable of raising money to add to contributions Rauner can make from his own fortune.

“Aaron realized he is only 31 and is not willing to risk everything against Rauner’s millions and probably Lisa Madigan,” said one state House Republican familiar with Schock’s thinking.

Madigan, the Illinois attorney general and daughter of state Speaker Michael Madigan, is eyeing a primary run against Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. Former Commerce Secretary William Daley also is a possible Democratic candidate.

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