UPDATED 9/17/2013 11:25 a.m.
(CBS) – Bill Daley, a former White House Cabinet member and brother of Chicago’s former mayor, is dropping out of the 2014 race for Illinois governor.
At a news conference on Tuesday morning Daley said he simply didn’t have the drive to hold the position.
“I’ve lost sleep and struggling the past couple of weeks as to whether or not what is needed I can provide over a long period,” Daley said.
Daley was to square off against incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn for the Democratic nomination. He jumped in only two months ago.
His decision, he said Tuesday, was not based on polling data and he believed he could have won. In fact, Daley fears Quinn will likely lose to his GOP opponent.
However, WBBM Political Editor Craig Dellimore reports that Quinn was able to counter any Daley attack and has methodically rounded up support of key Democratic foot-soldiers–the people who organize the vote for a candidate.
“Six weeks ago, it started to get harder and harder to maintain the enthusiasm,” Daley told CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine on Monday. “When I turned 65 last month, I asked myself, is this really what I want to do with the next 5 or 9 years?”
The answer, obviously, was no.
The former U.S. Commerce secretary and White House chief of staff took a parting shot at Quinn, who now has a much easier path to win the Democratic nod, as his only remaining opponent, former CeaseFire director Tio Hardiman, who was arrested on domestic violence charges earlier this year, but later saw those charges dropped.
However, Daley predicted Quinn won’t be re-elected to a second full term, and would be defeated by one of the many Republicans running against Quinn.
“We respect Bill Daley’s decision. A divisive primary would have only helped Republicans who want to take this state backwards and undo the important progress we have made,” Quinn’s re-election campaign said in a written statement.
The Republican field of gubernatorial candidates is crowded. The GOP field includes Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford, state Sens. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale Bill Brady of Bloomington, and businessman Bruce Rauner of Winnetka.
Andy Shaw of the Better Government Association says taxpayers lose when good candidates drop out.
“The really unfortunate thing is, in a state that’s a total mess, we need more, not fewer, candidates,” Shaw tells WBBM Newsradio’s Lisa Fielding.