PEORIA, Ill. (AP) – Republican U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock has decided to forgo a run for Illinois governor and instead seek re-election to Congress, the three-term congressman’s campaign manager said Thursday.
Schock concluded he could do more on Capitol Hill as a member of the House Ways and Means Committee than as governor, campaign manager Steve Shearer told the Peoria Journal Star. He said the congressman could work on comprehensive tax reform and long-term repairs to entitlement programs.
“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,” Shearer said.
Schock represents central Illinois’ 18th District, which includes Peoria.
Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn is considered vulnerable and two politicians have said they are considering challenging him for the party’s nomination. Former U.S. commerce secretary and White House chief of staff William Daley this week said he would decide if he will run in the next 60 days. Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan has also said she is mulling a possible run.
On the Republican side, several people have said they’re interested in challenging Quinn. They include State Treasurer Dan Rutherford and state Sen. Bill Brady.
Shearer said he considered several issues in making his decision, but the possibility of a tough race wasn’t among them.
“In the primary, we have no doubt Aaron would have prevailed,” he said. “He’s shown he can win improbable races twice, and win in very difficult districts four times.”
In recent months, Quinn and Madigan have been furiously fundraising, but Madigan has a wide lead. She raised more than $750,000 in the most recent quarter, adding to the $3.6 million she had on hand at the end of 2012. Quinn ended last year with just more than $1 million and has raised more than $550,000 since then.
Schock had $2.7 million in his congressional campaign fund earlier this year.
In February, the House Ethics Committee announced it would continue an investigation into Schock over allegations he sought donations of more than $5,000 per donor to a political action committee. The super PAC backed Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who was running in a House primary against Rep. Don Manzullo. Kinzinger won the March 2012 primary.
At the time, Schock spokesman Steve Dutton said Schock hadn’t done anything wrong and the case was “without merit.”
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