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Quinn says he's still focused on his day job

Published: Wednesday, Sept. 18, 2013 3:30 p.m. CDT

CHICAGO (AP) — Even after his top 2014 Democratic challenger leveled parting stings, Gov. Pat Quinn largely ignored the criticism Wednesday, saying he's ready to keep doing his job.

Quinn made his first public appearance since former White House chief of staff Bill Daley abruptly quit the governor's race. In stepping aside this week Daley said he had a change of heart, but could still beat Quinn, who'd probably lose to a Republican.

The tenor of the campaigns was heating up with Quinn recently referring to Daley as a "millionaire banker" and Daley taking jabs at Quinn's leadership.

But that wasn't evident Wednesday as Quinn largely circumvented mentioning Daley or directly addressing his decision. Instead, Quinn focused on his themes of being a man of the people and vaguely suggesting how he'd contrast with Daley.

"It's important to work hard for the common good ... and fighting hard for everyday for people who don't have lobbyists and political action committees," he told reporters before an unrelated event. "That's what a governor does."

Quinn faces lesser-known Democratic candidate Tio Hardiman, the former head of Chicago anti-violence group CeaseFire. But Quinn said Wednesday he wants the party's official nod. Quinn planned to attend a weekend slating discussion with the state party officials.

He said with four Republicans running it'll be a "stern contest."

Businessman Bruce Rauner, Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford and state Sens. Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard are seeking the GOP nomination.

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Follow Sophia Tareen at http://twitter.com/sophiatareen.

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