Political Notebook

Ill. comptroller concedes in governor’s race

Speaking yesterday at the National Prayer breakfast, President Obama urged leaders to be empowered by faith. Speaking yesterday at the National Prayer breakfast, President Obama urged leaders to be empowered by faith. (Pablo Martinez Monsivai/Associated Press)
February 5, 2010

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CHICAGO - Comptroller Daniel Hynes conceded defeat yesterday in the Illinois Democratic primary for governor, often choking with emotion as he thanked his supporters and promised to help Governor Pat Quinn win in November.

Hynes dismissed the strife of the primary campaign as “a spirited discussion about our future’’ and said he had called to congratulate Quinn.

“I’m supporting him because I believe that our shared values and his basic decency is what Illinois needs, especially compared to what’s being suggested or offered by the Republican Party at this time,’’ Hynes said.

Hynes had made statements and highlighted Quinn weaknesses during the campaign that Republicans are likely to seize upon in the general election.

Hynes trailed Quinn by a few thousand votes on election night Tuesday and initially opted not to bow out. As more ballots were counted, Quinn’s lead grew.

The spotlight remained on the Republicans, who also have been waiting for a primary winner to emerge in the governor’s race. State Senator Bill Brady led by just a few hundred votes over Senator Kirk Dillard, and the race could wind up going to a recount.


Fellow Republican Weld bypasses Brown ceremony
As Scott Brown was gathering with his staff at the US Capitol before his swearing-in ceremony, William Weld stepped off the elevator.

About 50 feet separated the fellow Republicans.

It was a distance that, apparently, Weld was not willing to travel.

“Where’s the exit?’’ the former Bay State governor and one-time Senate candidate asked a small gathering of reporters and cameramen, then he turned and walked away.

Approached by a reporter, Weld said he wasn’t in Washington for Brown.

“Just client business,’’ he said, declining to be more specific. Weld, who himself flipped the Democratic hegemony in the Bay State almost two decades ago in his governor’s race, is listed in public records as a registered lobbyist in recent years for several corporations, including Raytheon Co. and CNX Gas Corp.

When asked whether he was going to stay for Brown’s ceremony, he said, “No. I’m going back to New York.’’

He then walked down the hallway, in search of the exit.


Obama urges restoration of ‘civility’ in Washington
WASHINGTON - President Obama said yesterday that he prays that lawmakers can restore a “spirit of civility’’ to the nation’s capital.

Speaking at the annual National Prayer breakfast, Obama said America’s leaders are quick to unite in times of crisis, but when it comes to long-term problems, lawmakers can become absorbed by ideology and power contests.

He urged leaders to be empowered by faith to bridge divisions and unite around common goals.

“You can question my policies without questioning my faith. Or, for that matter, my citizenship,’’ Obama said, referring to critics who have questioned whether he was born in the United States.