(CNN) – Former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley is dropping out of the race for Illinois governor, Daley told the Chicago Tribune on Monday.
According to the Tribune, Daley told them he was ill-prepared for the difficulties of a political bid.
"One of the things I always thought in my career that I wanted to do, I thought I would be able to have that opportunity, I hoped, would be to run for office. And even though you're around it for a long time, you really don't get a sense of the enormity of it until you get into it," Daley said.
"But the last six weeks or so have been really tough on me, struggling with this. Is this really me? Is this really what I want to spend my next five to nine years doing? And is this the best thing for me to do at this stage of my life?" Daley said. "I've come to the conclusion that this isn't the best thing for me."
In the interview, Daley went on to say he hopes another Democrat steps forward to replace Gov. Pat Quinn, a fellow Democrat whom Daley feels is weak, he said. Quinn is running for re-election next year for a second term in office.
According to a Democratic strategist close to the Daley campaign, key aides weren't informed of Daley's decision until late Monday.
Daley had launched an exploratory campaign in June to pursue the Democratic nomination for governor.
Daley served as President Barack Obama's chief of staff from 2011 to 2012. He would have been the second chief of staff in Obama's White House in elected office in Illinois, after Rahm Emanuel was elected mayor of Chicago in 2011.
The closer comparison for Daley, however, is his father and brother, both of whom served as mayor of Chicago. Daley also served President Bill Clinton's Commerce secretary and ran Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign.
- CNN's Paul Steinhauser and Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.