Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn (D) had to maneuver through a bruising primary, and he now faces the prospect of having his predecessor on the trail for the foreseeable future.
Republicans are making it clear they want to tie Quinn to disgraced former Gov. Rod Blagojevich (D). "As governors, Quinn and Blagojevich have failed us," the announcer says in a recent TV spot for the Republican Governors Association.
But Democrats maintain voters won't associate Quinn, who was lieutenant governor to Blagojevich, with his flamboyant predecessor.
"When the Blagojevich scandal broke, the very first thing out of Pat Quinn's mouth was, 'I have not spoken to this guy in over a year,'" Nathan Daschle, executive director of the Democratic Governors Association (DGA), said on a conference call Wednesday. "There is no real relationship between Blagojevich and Pat Quinn."
Daschle said the DGA's polling confirms that assumption. "The trail is not going to hurt Pat Quinn," he said.
Still, Daschle hinted that Democrats would move aggressively to paint state Sen. Bill Brady, Quinn's Republican opponent, as too extreme.
"This is going to be a competitive race," Daschle said.