Governor Quinn

Gov. Rick Perry

Pat Quinn

is the 41'st Governor or Illinois and a member of the Democratic Party. Quinn became givernor on January 29, 2009, when the previous governor. Rod Blagojevich, was impeached and removed from office.

Born in 1948 in Hinsdale, Illinois, Quinn attended the local Catholic grade school, St. Isaac Jogues. He graduated in 1967 from Fenwick High School, a school in Oak Park, Illinois run by the Dominican Order of Priests. While a student at Fenwick, Quinn was the cross-country team captain and the sports editor of the school newspaper. Quinn went on to graduate Phi Beta Kappa from Georgetown University in 1971 with a bachelor's degree from the Edmund A. Walsh School of Foreign Service. After taking a few years off from education, he received a Juris Doctor degree from Northwestern University School of Law in 1980

Quinn is divorced and has two sons, Patrick IV and David, born on April 12, 1983, and December 16, 1984, respectively. Both sons, like their father, competed in scholastic sports, specializing in track and field events.

Quinn was briefly a practicing tax attorney before his career in public office.

Before running for public office, Quinn was already involved in political action, serving as an aide to Governor Dan Walker. He was first put on the political map in the late 1970s by leading a petition to amend the 1970 Illinois Constitution with the "Illinois Initiative". This amendment was intended to increase the power of public referendums in the political process and recalls for public officials. The petition drive was successful, but the Illinois Supreme Court ultimately ruled that the Illinois Initiative was an "unconstitutional constitutional amendment," and thus never was presented to voters.

Quinn drew more attention to his causes by holding press conferences on Sundays, seen as a slow news day. While still in law school, Quinn scored his first political success in 1980, earning him the reputation as a reformer on the Illinois political scene. Through his organization named "The Coalition for Political Honesty" he initiated and led the statewide campaign for the Cutback Amendment to the Illinois Constitution, ultimately reducing the size of the Illinois House of Representatives from 177 to 118 members. This also earned him some enemies among the state's establishment, since they had fewer seats and possibly less power.

In 1982, Quinn was elected as commissioner of the Cook County Board of Tax Appeals, now known as the Board of Review. During this time, Quinn was instrumental in the creation of the Citizens Utility Board, a consumer watchdog organization. He did not seek re-election in 1986, but waged an unsuccessful campaign for the Democratic nomination for Illinois State Treasurer, which was won by Jerome Cosentino. After this defeat, Quinn briefly served in the administration of Chicago Mayor Harold Washington as Revenue Director.

Quinn's bid for office was successful in the 1990 election. He was elected Illinois State Treasurer and he served in that position from 1991 to 1995. During this period, he was publicly critical of Illinois Secretary of State and future governor George Ryan. Specifically, he drew attention to special vanity license plates that Ryan's office provided for clout-heavy motorists. This rivalry led Quinn to challenge Republican George Ryan in the 1994 general election for Secretary of State, unsuccessfully.

Quinn then took his aspirations to the national stage. When Paul Simon chose not to seek re-election in 1996, Quinn entered the race. Dick Durbin won the Democratic primary and eventually the Senate seat.

Quinn sought the Democratic nomination for Lieutenant Governor in 1998, but was narrowly defeated by Mary Lou Kearns. Quinn did not initially accept the count and charged fraud, but several weeks after the election he declined to ask the Illinois Supreme Court for a recount and endorsed Kearns.

Quinn once protested an increase in legislators' salaries by urging citizens to send tea bags to their offices, inspired by the Boston Tea Party.

On January 29, 2009 then Governor Rod Blagojevich was removed from office by a vote of 59-0 by the Illinois State Senate. Quinn was sworn in as Governor of Illinois, after earlier signing a written oath, at the chambers of the Illinois State House of Representatives by Illinois Supreme Court Associate Justice Anne M. Burke at 5:40 p.m. Central Standard Time.

 

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