Potential Gubernatorial Candidates: Drury, Kelly & Raoul

Written by John Biver

Now that we have covered the declared candidates, it’s time to take a look at a few who haven’t yet thrown their hat into the ring. (You can read our previous posts here, here, here and here.)

The Wikipedia page on the “Illinois gubernatorial election, 2018” lists more than a dozen “potential” candidates, but for now we’re only going to focus on three:

  • Scott Drury (D-Highwood) State Representative from the 58th House District.
  • Robin Kelly (D-Chicago) U.S. Representative from the 2nd Congressional District.
  • Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) State Senator from the 13th Senate District.

First, a note: that Wikipedia page leaves Alexander Paterakis off of the list of declared candidates. Evidently the Leftists at Wikipedia agree with me that Alex’s comments about not raising taxes disqualifies him as a serious Democratic Party candidate. (LOL.)

Our first potential candidate is Scott Drury, a Democratic member of the state house who represents sections of the north shore suburban area. Just this week he announced that he is exploring a gubernatorial bid. In an email to supporters he explained why, saying that “Illinois is headed downhill”:

Partisan bickering, public corruption and uncontrolled violence have come to define our once great State. The public feels helpless against a billionaire governor and Democratic machine that refuse to prioritize people’s needs over political gain. Governor Rauner’s approval rating is dreadful, and Mike Madigan’s is even worse.

Some of that language is boilerplate to be sure, but this isn’t:

The public does not trust Illinois government. If Illinois is to change course and move forward, it first must establish a strong foundation of trust upon which it can build.

To that end, in January, I became the first Democrat in 30 years to refuse to support Mike Madigan in his quest to become Speaker of the Illinois House.

It is reported that “Drury often does not support union causes,” and he has a lifetime score (53%) on the AFL-CIO scorecard, “the lowest among active Democratic politicians in Illinois.” He has also voted NO to “medical” marijuana. Nevertheless, Leftists will be pleased hear that he voted YES to redefine marriage, and YES to mandate comprehensive sex “education” in government schools (6th grade and up).

Our second potential candidate, Robin Kelly was elected to the United States Congress from Illinois in 2013 in a special election to fill the seat vacated by Jesse Jackson, Jr. In recent months, Congresswoman Kelly has been quoted as saying she is considering a run for governor. Previously, she has served as an Illinois state representative and has run statewide for treasurer, losing that 2010 campaign to Republican Dan Rutherford.

Her congressional website bio touches on many Democratic Party talking points, such as her being a “staunch champion of common sense gun reforms and responsible community policing.”

Also in her bio:

The daughter of a small business owner and postal worker, Congresswoman Kelly moved to Illinois after high school to attend Bradley University in Peoria, where she earned her B.A. in psychology and an M.A. in counseling. She later received a Ph.D. in political science from Northern Illinois University. She lives in Matteson with her husband, Dr. Nathaniel Horn, and has two adult children, Kelly and Ryan.

For anyone wondering what kind of governor she might be, a quick glance at the Conservative Review’s scorecard gives a big hint: Liberty Score® “F” voting conservative 15% of the time and liberal 85%. Her Heritage Action score is worse(11%).

Our last potential candidate is Kwame Raoul, married and father of two, a Democratic Party state Senator from the 13th District located in Chicago. Raoul, 52 years-old, was appointed to the state senate in late 2004 to fill the seat vacated by newly elected U.S. Senator Barack Obama. Since his first year in the General Assembly, it is reported that “Raoul established a progressive agenda”: “Raoul has successfully advanced legislation promoting civil justice, early childhood education” and expanded access to early voting in Illinois.

Raoul serves as a partner in a Chicago law firm, and in an interview in Chicago Magazine back in January, while admitting he was holding his future plans “close to the chest,” nonetheless made some revealing statements.

In the introduction to the interview, writer Carol Felsenthal noted that “Not a year passes that he’s not mentioned as the perfect candidate for congressman, U.S. senator, governor, state’s attorney, attorney general…” “But he never pulls the trigger,” she adds.

“Raoul told me that he would like to be mayor [of Chicago]—or maybe even governor. ‘Would I love the office of mayor or governor handed to me on a silver platter? Yeah, I would love that, but the reality is you have to run, and this past time you had a billionaire [Bruce Rauner] finance a $60 to $70 million [dollar] campaign.’”

On the topic of Rauner, some of what Raoul said in the interview might suggest he will take a pass on the governor’s race:

Q: What’s your relationship like with Gov. Rauner?

A: He invited me to meet with him a week after the election. He said to me, “I’m very passionate about the African American community.” I said to him, “I think there’s a great opportunity for you and that is for you to take on criminal justice reform.” He embraced it. He appointed a commission on criminal justice reform. I’m on the commission. We actually penned an op-ed together early last year. I applaud him for taking it on.

Q: Who do you blame for this impasse on the budget?

A: Rauner’s a venture capitalist and he’s accustomed to hiring and firing CEOs. Government doesn’t work that way, nor should it. [State Senator] Donne Trotter said to Rauner at one point, “I don’t think that we elected a king.” I don’t blame Rauner. He said who he was going to be. And he was elected.

Read more:

Part 1: Illinois Democrats Line Up to Run for Governor

Part 2: Democratic Party Candidates for Illinois Governor: Bob Daiber and Chris Kennedy

Part 3: Democratic Party Candidates for Illinois Governor: Paterakis & Pawara

Part 4: Democratic Party Candidates for Illinois Governor: J.B. Pritzker

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