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State Sen. Raoul opts out of governor’s race

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

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

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Updated: October 1, 2013 6:38AM



Whether state Sen. Kwame Raoul would have been a viable alternative or a spoiler is now moot.

In a post on his Facebook page, the legislator from the Hyde Park-Kenwood area said Thursday he is not running for governor.

“After careful consideration, I have decided not to seek the Democratic nomination for governor in 2014,” he wrote. “I did not take lightly the calls for me to join this race and provide voters with another option.”

Raoul, 48, did not specifically say why he is opting out of the race but said in making his decision he considered “the timing of this potential step,” his “existing and pledged resources,” his “sincere desire not to create unnecessary divisions” and his position as chairman of a legislative conference committee on pension reform.

Raoul has played it coy about a potential run since Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan opted out of the race, leaving former White House chief of staff Bill Daley the only major Democrat challenging Gov. Pat Quinn.

Since then, former CeaseFire leader Tio Hardiman has joined the race.

Raoul has said he was offended that Sun-Times columnist Laura Washington suggested his running for governor would help 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 told the Sun-Times earlier this month.

Raoul, whose parents are from Haiti, succeeded Barack Obama in the state Senate in 2004.



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