New Ill. gov stresses humility, service

Published: Sunday, February 1, 2009 at 6:35 p.m.
Last Modified: Sunday, February 1, 2009 at 6:35 p.m.

CHICAGO In his first Sunday since being thrust into the chief executive's office, Illinois Gov. Pat Quinn delivered a church service message of service and humility, calling on residents to work together despite challenges.

"We have to address each day with new eyes, no grudges," Quinn told the congregation of thousands at Salem Baptist Church. "We always have to learn every day."

Quinn did not specifically mention former Gov. Rod Blagojevich, who was booted from office Thursday and faces federal corruption charges. Blagojevich has repeatedly denied any wrongdoing.

Instead, Quinn talked vaguely of his plans for the state and mentioned some attributes he believes a governor should have.

"A lot of things have happened since last Sunday," he said at the South Side megachurch. "The governor of Illinois, or governor of any place, ought to be a humble person ... My heart is always at your service."

He added: "It's a tough time economically for people, we've got to make sure we help our neighbor."

Quinn, 60, also praised black leaders including President Barack Obama and poet Gwendolyn Brooks in recognition of Black History Month. The former lieutenant governor said he received a congratulatory phone call from Obama on Friday.

Quinn has said he will visit Washington this week to lobby for federal money and to repair relationships he says were soured during Blagojevich's tenure.

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