Why I’m not running for governor

By STATE SEN. KWAME RAOUL (D-13)

First, I want to convey my deep and lasting appreciation to the men and women, from communities throughout the state, who have expressed confidence in my ability to lead Illinois as its next chief executive. I am inspired by their determination to improve life for all our residents, and I am humbled by their desire to work with me to achieve that goal.

After careful consideration, I have decided not to seek the Democratic nomination for governor in 2014.

I did not take lightly the calls for me to join this race and provide voters with another option. In making my decision, I talked with my family and considered the timing of this potential step. I evaluated my existing and pledged resources and considered whether they would be adequate to communicate not only my record of service, but also my vision for this great state. I took into account my sincere desire not to create unnecessary divisions, given the commitments that have been made.

I also considered my current role as chair of the pension reform conference committee. The office of the governor is a key position of leadership. In deciding not to seek that position, I acknowledge the pivotal leadership role that is mine today and that I must carry out to the best of my abilities until the job is done.

While I will not be a candidate for governor in 2014, I pledge to do my part in this pivotal election to ensure that all who seek to be Illinois’ next governor hear the voices of people and communities who have been ignored or marginalized. To be their advocate will be a high honor, a worthy calling and a responsibility sufficient for this day.

Thank you for your ongoing support.