Bill Daley denied Tuesday that his decision to drop out of the race for governor stems from a fear of losing, but some Chicagoans are skeptical about his reasons for withdrawing.
“I’ve lost sleep, to be frank with you, and have been struggling over the last number of weeks as to whether I can provide over a long period,” said Daley, a former banker and presidential chief of staff who acknowledges coming from a family with “public service in its blood.”
Daley on Tuesday morning was peppered with questions from local and national news outlets that asked about the motives behind withdrawing his bid. Daley appeared annoyed and avoided direct responses.
When asked about statements from his brother, former Mayor Richard M. Daley, regarding the need for candidates to have a “fire in the belly,” Bill Daley said, “I think you can answer that for yourself.”
On Daley Plaza shortly after Daley’s press conference, reactions ranged from uninformed to skeptical.
“There’s definitely something else going on,” said Antonio Arrioga, 47, who supports Quinn.
“A lot of people in politics have their own agenda,” said Zarah Turner. “Daley had things going on behind the scenes.”
Daley denied that he was worried about not being able to defeat Quinn, who he said is not capable of winning the election. Now that Daley has dropped out, he said Republicans have the race.
The former chairman of the Midwest division of JP Morgan Chase said that he was angry about Quinn’s attack on his Democratic values and his past banking credentials.
Daley’s withdrawal from the campaign was first reported in the Chicago Tribune on Monday afternoon, a day after he appeared on air with Tribune political reporter Rick Pearson.
“I heard some rumblings Monday morning after he appeared on my radio show, emphatic, defending his Democratic credentials,” said Pearson, who expressed that he did not expect Daley’s withdrawal.
The following ChicagoTalks reporters contributed to this story:
Begina Armstrong, Katie Berg, Kyle Kredt, Jordan Longtin, Hannah Lorenz, Kaitlin Lounsberry, Morgan McWhorter, Taylor Morton, Hannah Rajnicek, Kyle Roche, Christopher Shuttlesworth and Dan Zar