* Let’s start our roundup of Aaron Schock’s decision not to run for governor with the Sun-Times report…
“He said back in the fall he was going to see whether he thought he could do more good running for re-election for Congress or running for governor,” Schock aide Steve Shearer told the Peoria Star late Thursday.
Schock, 31, ultimately decided to remain on Capitol Hill, where he serves on the House Ways and Means Committee, said Shearer, Schock’s chief of staff and campaign manager.
But the young third-term Peoria congressman also faced the reality of a crowded GOP field — and a tough general election race if he prevailed. […]
“Aaron realized he is only 31 and is not willing to risk everything against Rauner’s millions and probably Lisa Madigan,” said one state House Republican familiar with Schock’s thinking.
* That last point is worth noting…
Had Congressman Schock survived a brutal Republican primary race, he still would have faced the daunting challenge of either facing an incumbent governor, Pat Quinn, or a popular attorney general with a well-known family name, Lisa Madigan. Or even throw in the longshot possibility of running against Bill Daley, former Secretary of Commerce and brother of Chicago’s former mayor, Richard M. Daley. All three would be tough opponents, making this race for governor “mission impossible,” that could have resulted in ending his promising political career.
* Another factor…
In February, the House Ethics Committee announced it would continue an investigation into Schock over allegations he sought donations of more than $5,000 per donor to a political action committee. The super PAC backed Rep. Adam Kinzinger, who was running in a House primary against Rep. Don Manzullo. Kinzinger won the March 2012 primary.
At the time, Schock spokesman Steve Dutton said Schock hadn’t done anything wrong and the case was “without merit.”
* And yet another factor…
Shearer said Schock’s increasing seniority in the House after the changeover of members in the previous two national congressional elections was a significant factor in the decision not to seek the governor’s office. Schock is only two seats away from the halfway point of seniority on the powerful House Ways and Means Committee.
Schock also serves on the House Administration Committee and in an advisory role to the House Republican Conference.
* Schock has had a storied career so far, and he’s only 31…
The 31-year-old won an unexpected write-in victory for the Peoria District 150 School Board in 2001 by a 20 percent margin over the incumbent board president while still a student at Bradley University. Three years later he won an equally difficult victory in a majority-Democratic state House district where he served for two terms before running for Congress in 2008.
In the House especially he has proven to be a prolific fundraiser, bringing a host of high-profile speakers to central Illinois including former vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan, House Speaker John Boehner, former Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice, then-President George W. Bush, first lady Laura Bush, former House Speaker Newt Gingrich and former House colleague Allen West.
During the first three months of 2013, Schock brought in just shy of three-quarters of a million dollars to his federal campaign fund, and was sitting on a war chest of about $2.7 million, according to disclosure documents filed with the Federal Election Commission.
He could very well be the future of the GOP in this state.
* A look ahead…
His decision not to run leaves only one Republican candidate at the moment with access to major campaign cash, Chicago investment mogul Bruce Rauner, though Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford has raised some hundreds of thousands of dollars.