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Simon ducks possibility of 2014 run with Quinn

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SPRINGFIELD-While Gov. Pat Quinn has publically committed to a 2014 run for re-election, his running mate has yet to say if she's willing to take the plunge with him.

That was true again Friday.

Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon evaded questions about another run with Quinn during an interview regarding a group she is leading to discuss firearms issues.

"I think I'll choose to keep the focus on the firearms working group," Simon told the Chicago Sun-Times when asked if she was up for a second tour as Quinn's running mate.

Quinn, who was branded the nation's least popular governor in a November poll by Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling, faces potential 2014 primary opponents in Attorney General Lisa Madigan and former White House Chief of Staff William Daley.

But each of those two potential contenders has yet to solidify a gubernatorial bid.

On Friday, Simon did not shoot down the possibility of going after the attorney general's slot if Madigan were to run against Quinn.

"When we're ready to talk about it, we'll let you know," she said.

Simon, a 1987 graduate of Georgetown University's law school, spent four years as a Jackson County prosecutor and a decade as a Southern Illinois University law professor.

She recently launched a firearms working group of 15 freshmen members of the General Assembly to meet with stakeholders on all sides of the gun-control debate as the Legislature works to craft a concealed carry law.

The group's first meeting was Wednesday in Springfield, though the event was closed to the media in order to "create an environment where people can ask lots of questions," Simon said. The group's next meeting is scheduled for Feb. 15 at St. Sabina church in Chicago.

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