Quinn announces candidacy for full term

October 22, 2009 (CHICAGO) The former lieutenant governor took office in January after Rod Blagojevich was impeached and removed from office.

Quinn's announcement came as polls suggest he has some work to do to win over voters.

Call it a light rain on Pat Quinn's political parade Thursday.

He "formally announced his campaign for a full term" as two separate, independent polls suggest some weaknesses in his candidacy.

The governor entered the hotel where he announced through the kitchen, stopping along the way to shake hands with food service workers.

Minutes later, Quinn was inside the crowded ballroom, recounting what he says he's accomplished during the nine months since his elevation to governor.

"We have worked together to mend our government, to mend its flaws and to restore integrity and honor to the Governor's Office," Quinn said.

Nevertheless, a Rasmussen poll reported that over half the state voters surveyed disapproved of Quinn's job performance, with 53% disapproving and 43% approving.

It followed a poll Wednesday from SIU's Paul Simon Institute reporting that 65.5 percent of voters asked oppose Quinn's proposed income tax increase to help resolve the estimated $10 billion budget deficit. The governor said he's working to change anti-tax sentiment.

"Sometime things are difficult to do, but they have to be done in order to make sure that our state is solid," Quinn said.

Quinn's primary opponent, Comptroller Dan Hynes, is pushing his own version of a tax increase: a progressive system that requires a state constitutional amendment.

"Under our plan, if you make less than $200,000, your taxes will not go up," Hynes said.

All the declared Republican candidates oppose a tax increase and favor spending cuts and caps.

"You need to impose statutory spending caps in Springfield, imposing a spending discipline on Springfield where the problem really is, not on revenue," said Dan Proft, Republican candidate for governor.

"That plan to only cut and not bring in more money is not realistic, and I think that people will see right through it," Hynes said.

At the Quinn event, several democratic elected officials conceded the governor and the party have a long campaign ahead of them on the tax issue.

"I think our legislature has not done a good enough job of explaining to the people the real crisis that we're in," said State Rep. Susana Mendoza, (D) Chicago.

There is an anti-tax candidate running for governor in the Democratic primary, Oak Park Attorney Ed Scanlon, but so far, his support has not been measurable in any statewide survey.

The television ad battle continues between Hynes and Quinn, each trying to convince voters he has the best plan to raise taxes in a state where the Simon poll says two-thirds of the people don't want their taxes raised.

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