SPRINGFIELD-Gov. Pat Quinn, already vowing to seek re-election next year, said Monday his possible 2014 primary opponent, Attorney General Lisa Madigan, should appeal a federal ruling that struck down Illinois' prohibition on carrying concealed weapons.
Quinn's comments came after he took the stage before a group of Illinois Realtors, following an earlier speech by the three-term attorney general.
The governor's focus on guns while speaking with reporters afterwards ramped up pressure on the attorney general to appeal December's federal appeals court ruling mandating concealed carry in Illinois to the U.S. Supreme Court. To date, Madigan hasn't made her intentions known.
"I think the case was wrongly decided by the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, and I would like to see that reversed, and the only way to do that is with an appeal," Quinn said. "I hope the attorney general reconsiders that."
Earlier, Madigan said the U.S. Supreme Court's decision Monday not to overturn New York's highly restrictive concealed-carry law would "obviously influence our continuing review of the situation here in Illinois." But she wouldn't divulge whether she intends to appeal the federal appeals ruling mandating state lawmakers to craft a concealed-carry law in Illinois by early June.
Encouraging Madigan to appeal that decision was as far into the still murky waters of the 2014 gubernatorial campaign Quinn would wade Monday, refusing to acknowledge their appearance one after the other before one of Illinois' most clout-heavy interest groups could be an early look at the next year's primary.
Quinn dodged questions about Madigan's brisk fundraising, which has her on a pace well ahead of him going into next year's campaigns, and on whether it would be bad for the state Democratic Party for anyone to challenge the incumbent governor.
"I really don't really think partisan politics is appropriate, especially on this day where we still have facts to be known, something very serious in the state of Massachusetts that harmed the people of our country," the governor told reporters. "We should take that very seriously."