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State

Quinn's running mate continues working in Conn.

Paul Vallas listens to reporters' questions after Gov. Pat Quinn introduced him as his choice for running mate during a Nov. 12 news conference in Chicago. Vallas will continue working as school superintendent in Bridgeport, Conn., until March 1.
Paul Vallas listens to reporters' questions after Gov. Pat Quinn introduced him as his choice for running mate during a Nov. 12 news conference in Chicago. Vallas will continue working as school superintendent in Bridgeport, Conn., until March 1.

SPRINGFIELD – Gov. Pat Quinn's running mate will continue working in Connecticut until March 1, just weeks before he appears on the ballot in Illinois' Democratic primary.

Paul Vallas will keep working as superintendent of Bridgeport public schools until then, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Illinois' primary election will be held March 18.

Vallas submitted his resignation to Bridgeport officials on Dec. 31 and is required to give a 60-day notice.

Quinn picked the former Chicago schools CEO to be his running mate in November after Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon announced she was running for comptroller.

Quinn is considered a front-runner on the Democratic ticket, and the two are expected to face the winner of a Republican primary among four candidates: state Sens. Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard, state Treasurer Dan Rutherford and venture capitalist Bruce Rauner.

Vallas, who sought the Democratic nomination for Illinois governor in 2002 and ran schools in Philadelphia in New Orleans, had been fighting to keep his job in Connecticut.

"He does not want to leave the Bridgeport school system in the lurch," said Steven Ecker, an attorney for Vallas in Connecticut. "If he had done nothing and they wanted to fire him, he would have gotten a big payday."

Vallas will continue earning his $4,500 weekly salary until he departs. If he'd been fired from the post, the district would have been obligated to pay him a lump-sum payment of $234,000 along with a year of health insurance.

Leslie Wertheimer, a spokeswoman for the Quinn-Vallas campaign, said Vallas continues to meet with Quinn

"Paul's transition will be complete by March," she said.

___

Information from: Chicago Sun-Times, http://www.suntimes.com/index

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