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Bill Daley mulling potential run to be Illinois governor

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Bill Daley (photo courtesy The White House)

(CNN) — Former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley, a Democrat, is considering a run for the Illinois governorship in 2014, potentially challenging Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn.

“I am thinking about it seriously. We are a ways off,” Daley told a crowd at a City Club of Chicago event Thursday, according to the Chicago Sun-Times.

Daley stepped down from his post as White House chief of staff in January after spending about a year on the job. Jack Lew, President Barack Obama’s current chief of staff, replaced Daley as his successor.

A Chicago native, Daley hails from a widely-known political family. His father, Richard J. Daley, served as Chicago mayor for 21 years, and his brother, also named Richard, served 22 years as mayor. The mayoral office was recently filled by another former Obama chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel.

Before coming to the White House in 2011, Daley held top positions in the private sector, including executive spots at JP Morgan Chase and SBC Communications. As Secretary of Commerce under former President Bill Clinton, Daley played a key role in getting the NAFTA agreement passed through the Republican-controlled Congress.

The Chicago native on Thursday blasted current leadership in the state, pointing to the state’s $96 million pension liability and other fiscal issues, according to the Chicago Sun-Times. The newspaper quoted Daley, who has previously mulled gubernatorial bids, saying that Quinn’s pension-reform proposals “had some promise but they’ve been mostly ignored.”

“There’s nothing wrong with Illinois now that can’t be fixed with better leadership,” he said.

Asked by reporters later if an involuntary manslaughter charge against his adult nephew would post problematic for a potential campaign, Daley simply said “No.”

Quinn became governor in 2009 after then-Gov. Rod Blagojevich was impeached and removed from office. Quinn won election to a full term in 2010.