Who's Up To The Challenge Of Challenging Rauner? The Latest Updates

Aug 18, 2016

Democrats opposed to a second term of Gov. Bruce Rauner are searching for challengers.
Credit Amanda Vinicky

Speculation continues to swirl over who Democrats will put up to challenge Gov. Bruce Rauner in two years.

Illinois Democrats were hyping potential contenders just a few weeks ago, at the party’s national convention.

At the time, U.S. Senator Dick Durbin said he was considering a run.

“Talk it over with my wife. Make a decision. And, you know, make an announcement,” he said in Philadelphia. Any announcement, he said, would come after this November's election.

He said his first focus would be to elect Hillary Clinton as President and Tammy Duckworth as his Illinois' other U.S. Senator.

That hasn't changed.

But when it comes to talking about a gubernatorial bid, Durbin's tone is markedly different now.

“I’ve got a great job. I’m happy to have it. Had it in Washington, trying to help the state of Illinois. The more seniority I have out there, the more I can do for this state. I am not pushing this story. Others are. I am not," he said at Democrats' rally at the Illinois State Fair Thursday.

A new name has been added to the mix of possibilities: Chicago City Treasurer Kurt Summers, who is in his first term.

"If I continue to love it and I see opportunities to do greater good for a greater number of people, then I'll certainly consider those," Summers (who also made the trip to the state fair rally Thursday) said. "Given the problems that we have in the city of Chicago and in the state of Illinois it's irresponsible to look too far down the line. It doesn't respect the situation that we're in."

Media reports cite sources close to Summers as having floated the idea. Summers is also frequently mentioned as a could-be candidate for mayor of Chicago, but that race isn't until 2019.