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Hynes not interested in Illinois lt. governor appointment. What Quinn wants.

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Chicago Sun-Times Staff Reporters

State Comptroller Dan Hynes, who narrowly lost to Gov. Quinn in a bitter battle in the Democratic gubernatorial primary, isn't interested in replacing Scott Lee Cohen as Quinn's running mate, a spokesman said today.

Hynes' decision followed a breakfast meeting with Quinn earlier today that had been arranged before Cohen's announcement Sunday that he's withdrawing from the Democratic ticket. During the campaign, Hynes cited elimination of the lieutenant governor's office as a way to save taxpayers' money.

Cohen's decision came in the wake of allegations of missed child-support payments in Cohen's divorce case last year and a 2005 domestic-battery arrest in which Cohen allegedly held a knife to an ex-girlfriend's throat. The battery charge was dropped after the ex-girlfriend, who had a misdemeanor prostitution conviction, didn't show up in court

Speaking at a news conference at the Hotel Allegro in downtown Chicago after his meeting with Hynes, Quinn described Cohen's withdrawal as "a poignant moment for our state."

The Democratic State Central Committee will choose Cohen's replacement. The group is to meet March 15, but could meet sooner -- something Quinn said he hopes will happen.

"I commend Scott Lee Cohen for making the decision he did last night," Quinn said. "I think the people of Illinois agree with his decision, and it's time to move on to the future."

Quinn also outlined the qualities he's looking for in a running mate:

"Someone who is qualified to be governor, who has a record of public service. Someone who is able to speak to ordinary everyday people in plain language about the importance of the economy. And someone who also stands up to the rest of the values of the Democratic Party."

Quinn said he's "open-minded to a number of folk" for the job and "would encourage anyone who is interested to come forward and let us know."

State Rep. Art Turner, the West Side legislator who finished second to Cohen in the primary race for lieutenant governor, said Sunday he still wants the job. He was House Speaker Michael Madigan's endorsed candidate.

Asked about Turner as a potential running mate, Quinn said today: "Art Turner has been a friend of mine for 30 years. He's a good man."

But he did not offer Turner his endorsement.

Other names being kicked around for the nomination are the four others in the primary: state Sen. Rickey Hendon (D-Chicago), state Sen. Terry Link (D-Vernon Hills), state Rep. Mike Boland (D-East Moline) and electrician Thomas Castillo.

Also being discussed: Veterans Affairs official Tammy Duckworth and state Rep. Julie Hamos (D-Wilmette), who just lost a primary for Congress.

Also today, Planned Parenthood of Illinois' political arm rescinded its endorsement of Cohen "in light of the serious allegations made against [Cohen] by his ex-wife and his ex-girlfriend."

The group had endorsed multiple candidates for lieutenant governor and "is relieved that Cohen made the right decision to step down as the Democratic nominee."

1 Comment

Why would Dan Hynes want to be running mates with Quinn? That would be foolish! Dan Hynes is about change not perpetuating corruption. Dan Hynes is interested in honest government one that preserves the rights of the Taxpayer, not exploit the system to serve his own interest like Quinn! What doses Quinn think Dan Hynes is foolish? That Dan Hynes would allow Quinn to ride his coat tail into another term? No Quinn; Dan Hynes is not a coward, not afraid to address the tuff issues, and definitely not stupid enough to be your running mate. Illinois should of ejected Quinn from office as well; how is it possible for Quinn not to know what Rod was doing? The truth is Rod was running the governors office like a Cartel; how could his right hand man Quinn not know what was going on? Please. Dan Hynes is right for not running with Quinn the clown, and unlike other political leaders. I respect Dan for not allowing his political career or commitment to the taxpayer be compromised because he ran with a King Rat like Quinn. Hey Quinn if you do not know what I am talking about; read the book! King Rat

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Lynn Sweet

Lynn Sweet is a columnist and the Washington Bureau Chief for the Chicago Sun-Times.

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This page contains a single entry by Lynn Sweet published on February 8, 2010 12:50 PM.

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Was Scott Lee Cohen's ex-girlfriend--who said he was not fit to serve--the final straw? Maybe, says Gloria Allred is the next entry in this blog.

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