Bill Daley, who’s pondering a Democratic challenge to Gov.
Daley, the son of a mayor who served 21 years and brother of another who served 22 years, also opened the door to term limits as a method to break partisan gridlock — a concept Quinn backed nearly 20 years ago in leading an unsuccessful petition drive and an issue which he said he still supports.
Daley's proposal for nonpartisan primary contests are a far cry from the days when the late Mayor Richard J. Daley ran a machine empowered by the ability to crank out Democratic votes in exchange for the city jobs that were the spoils of winning office.
The city’s mayoral post officially became nonpartisan in 1995, when his brother,
"I think there ought to be serious thought to basically a nonpartisan election," Daley told reporters after he appeared at panel for a fundraiser for the Catholic charitable organization Misericordia, which assists the developmentally disabled.
“The American people and the people in Illinois and Chicago, everyone is desirous of effectiveness and efficiency in government,” said Daley, who served as chief of staff to President
The only negative Daley said he saw for a nonpartisan election "are those who believe it's all about the party, and what we've seen in our society is that there's less and less emphasis on party."
Daley also noted that "people seem to like" a recent California law in which candidates of all parties are listed on ballots given to primary voters, with their party affiliation noted after their names. The top two primary finishers advance to the general election.
Daley said he still is no further along in deliberating over a bid to challenge Quinn, his only criticism in saying the incumbent has been either governor or lieutenant governor since 2002 "and one has to look and say, 'What's happened?'"
Quinn, speaking later Tuesday at a diversity event at the
"Some of our more political people have opposed that in both parties and I think it's time to maybe open up the door at least to (an) open primary," Quinn said.
Steve Brown, a spokesman for House Speaker
"Most people I know believe primaries are a time for party activists to come together to pick the strongest candidate for the general election," Brown said. "It's a party activity and activists in the party come together."
Quinn, asked by reporters about potential 2014 primary challengers, said he expects to be the Democratic nominee in the general election.
"I think that when you're in the arena as I am every day, working on issues, that's the best way to help the people," he said. "There's all kinds of time for politics and some people on the sidelines can point fingers and do all kinds of things that are political. But we need a governor in this state — and that's me — who works every day on things like pension reform, banning assault weapons."