Thursday August 9 8:40 PM ET
"Illinois Governor Won't Run Again"
Illinois Governor Won't Run Again
By NICOLE ZIEGLER DIZON, Associated Press Writer
VILLA PARK, Ill. (AP) - Attorney General Jim Ryan announced
Thursday he is running for the Republican nomination for governor,
jumping into the void left by Gov. George Ryan's decision not to
Standing outside the modest brick house where he grew up, Jim
Ryan spoke of the values he had learned inside - "faith, family,
hard work, honesty and personal responsibility."
Ryan, 55, said the adversity in his life over the past few years
had made his stronger. The attorney general has battled cancer and
he lost a 12-year-old daughter to a brain tumor.
At a bill-signing ceremony in Springfield Thursday, George Ryan
said he did not know whether he would endorse anyone in the GOP
primary. He said the attorney general "would probably make a good
governor," and that he believed Lt. Gov. Corinne Wood "would be
an excellent governor."
Wood, who is considered more moderate than the attorney general,
said she is considering running for governor or another statewide
Ryan said he did not make his decision to stay out of the 2002
race until 2 p.m. Wednesday, a few hours before he told a hometown
crowd in Kankakee that he wanted to govern free of the stress of a
"The work ahead is important. These challenges require serious
debate, a dialogue free from rancor or personal attacks about
motives or character," said the 67-year-old governor, who has held
statewide office since becoming lieutenant governor in 1983.
Ryan spent a half-hour ticking off his accomplishments as
governor - from suspending executions to devoting more money to
education - before finally revealing his decision.
He also had harsh words for conservative Republicans who
criticized him for raising taxes to build roads, vetoing abortion
restrictions for women on Medicaid and supporting
anti-discrimination protection for gays.
He did not mention the driver's license scandal that caused his
voter approval ratings to plummet.
"I can take the heat, but I worry for the Republican Party,"
Ryan said. "If we're to be successful we need to listen more and
shout less. We need to moderate our positions."
Both Jim Ryan and the other declared GOP candidate for governor,
state Sen. Patrick O'Malley of Palos Park, are more conservative
than George Ryan.
Some Republicans questioned whether Ryan could be re-elected,
despite accomplishments that include leadership on a $12 billion
construction project and efforts to bring Boeing Co. to the state.
The governor has been dogged by a federal investigation of
widespread trading of driver's licenses for bribes, mostly while he
was secretary of state. Prosecutors say at least $170,000 of the
bribe money ended up in Ryan's campaign fund, although the governor
has not been charged with wrongdoing and has repeatedly denied
knowledge of the bribes.
Some GOP colleagues said the scandal was a major stumbling block
in running again.
"But for the secretary of state driver's license business I
think George Ryan would have been a candidate for re-election,"
former Gov. Jim Thompson said.
A half-dozen or so Democrats have been laying the groundwork for
the governor's race, sensing a real shot at ending Republicans'
24-year control of the executive mansion.
Ryan would have faced a bruising primary and, if he survived, a
long campaign of attacks on his honesty.
Forty-one people have been charged for accepting or paying
bribes in exchange for driver's licenses. Thirty-six people have
been convicted, including Ryan's longtime friend Dean Bauer, the
former chief investigator in his secretary of state office.
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No 2nd Term for Illinois Governor (August 9)
Ill. Governor Won't Seek Re-election (August 8)
Ill. Gov. Ryan Won't Seek 2nd Term (August 8)
Ill. Gov. Ryan Wont Seek Second Term (August 8)
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