08/26/2014 02:31 pm ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

Is Pat Quinn's Reelection in Trouble?

As the Ilinois governor's race marches ever closer to the November election, both candidates have nine weeks of hard campaigning ahead of them. But Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn's road might have gotten just a bit harder, writes Madeleine Doubek.

A report from Executive Inspector General Ricardo Meza found that the Illinois Department of Transportation did not follow may not have followed proper anti-patronage rules for much of Quinn's tenure as governor, plus the former transportation secretary said "neither I nor my staff were in a position to reject the recommended positions."

Doubek writes:

"I can just imagine the (Republican candidate Bruce) Rauner ads to come, comparing Quinn to his predecessor and running mate, former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who is serving time in a federal prison on corruption charges. Remember the ads Blagojevich used against his Republican opponent, Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, dancing the polka with then-imprisoned former GOP Gov. George Ryan? Ah, all's nasty fair game in Illinois politics."

But is Rauner in the clear?

"Quinn's camp suggests Rauner also is ethically challenged because of problems at nursing homes and other companies run by his private equity firm, but it remains to be seen whether that notion sticks. On the other hand, I've heard several Republicans say they still don't feel like they know or trust Rauner or believe he understands and can run a government."

Both candidates had campaign backup from national political leaders this week. Vice President Joe Biden made his way to Chicago to help drum up support for Quinn, while New Jersey Governor and Republican Governor's Association Chairman Chris Christie made his way to Illinois to stump for Rauner. What does the presence of possible presidential candidates mean for the Illinois gubernatorial candidates?