Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Birkett weighing run for governor

Joe ran a good race for Illinois AG three years ago....

Birkett weighing run for governor
By Eric Krol Daily Herald Political Writer
Posted Tuesday, February 08, 2005

Joe BirkettDuPage County State's Attorney Joe Birkett is exploring a bid for governor, focusing his political aspirations on the state's top elected office instead of a rematch for attorney general.While the 49-year-old, three-term Republican from Wheaton won't make up his mind until mid-summer, Birkett said the thrust of a campaign would be cleaning up a state government in which Democratic Gov. Rod Blagojevich "has festered the pay-to-play culture."

"The governor inherited the office from George Ryan and said he was going to change the way we do business in Springfield, and he's made a mockery of that promise," Birkett told the Daily Herald Monday in an informal announcement of his exploratory bid. "He's raising money at a record pace. He's outpacing George Ryan. There's no question this state is hungry for new leadership."

Blagojevich campaign spokesman Pete Giangreco declined to engage in a war of words.
"The governor hasn't declared for re-election yet," he said. "If (Blagojevich) does run, we'll look forward to exchanging ideas with whoever the (Republican) nominee is."

Blagojevich, who has $11 million in his campaign fund, has taken his ethical lumps lately. His father-in-law, Chicago Ald. Dick Mell, claimed and then recanted allegations that appointments were being traded for campaign contributions. State and Cook County authorities are probing nonetheless.

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