As the list of candidates wanting to be the next governor of Illinois grows, Attorney General Lisa Madigan says she is still making up her mind about whether to enter the race.
The decision is one that will have a ripple effect on the next election cycle, and could influence whether newly-announced candidate and former White House chief of staff Bill Daley stays in the Democratic primary battle against Gov. Pat Quinn.
Madigan on Tuesday would not provide a timeline for making a decision, saying she is focused on her current post.
"As I have long let the people of Illinois and the news media know, I am very seriously considering running for governor. That being said, my first priority continues to be serving as the state's attorney general. And there is a lot of important and good work we are doing," Madigan told reporters before being honored by The Rotary Club at a lunch held at the Union League Club. "I am pretty sure that the people of the state of Illinois are interested in results and are not as interested in the start of a new campaign."
The attorney general would not address whether her father, powerful House Speaker and chair of the Illinois Democratic Party Michael Madigan, should step down if she runs for governor and wins.
"It's premature for me to do so," she said. "When I announce that I'm running for governor, if that's my decision, we can handle all of those exciting questions then."
However, she did dismiss suggestions that her father was not fully engaged in finding a way to overhaul the state's public employee pension system as a way to make Quinn look bad and boost her possible candidacy. She called such speculation "absurd," noting the House has passed a pension reform bill.
"It's June of 2013," Madigan said. "The next governor won't be sworn in until January 2015. If we haven't cleaned up and reformed the pension system by then, we have much greater problems. It is to nobody's benefit whatsoever for the pension crisis to continue in the state of Illinois."
The attorney general has not backed a specific plan to reform the retirement systems, but said her office is prepared to defend whatever measure lawmakers send to Quinn once the inevitable court challenge arises.Copyright © 2015, CT Now