(CNN) -- Bill Daley, who served as President Barack Obama's chief of staff for one year between 2011 and 2012, announced Tuesday he was launching an exploratory bid for Illinois governor.
"The people of Illinois are paying a price for political failure," Daley said in a video announcing his campaign, pointing to stalled pension reform and marriage equality bills in the state legislature.
Illinois' current governor, Pat Quinn, is a Democrat who has not yet said whether he's running for re-election. Polls have shown Quinn is unpopular among voters.
In his video, Daley tied his bid to his tenure as Obama's chief of staff, noting legislative gridlock was a problem facing the federal government as well.
"When I was chief of staff to President Obama the Republican Congress tried to grind the federal government to a halt. So we launched the "We Can't Wait' campaign. On issue after issue, President Obama took executive action where Congress refused to act. We need that same kind of urgency in Illinois," he says.
Daley comes from a long line of Illinois politicians - his father and brother both served as Chicago mayor, a position now held by another former Obama chief of staff, Rahm Emanuel. Before serving in the Obama administration, Daley acted as former President Bill Clinton's Commerce secretary and as chairman of Al Gore's 2000 presidential campaign.
Daley said his campaign would reflect "action and urgency" toward fixing his state's stalled reforms.
"This campaign is going to be a vehicle to deliver the message that we can't wait," he said. An exploratory committee allows a candidate to start raising campaign cash before officially jumping into the race.
CNN's Kevin Liptak contributed to this report.