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The post-Romney crop of private equity politicians?

January 4, 2013: 2:15 PM ET

Private equity execs may be considering runs in Illinois and New York.

FORTUNE -- Mitt Romney may have failed to translate his business experience into a winning campaign message, but that may not stop other private equity investors from trying.

The name most commonly bandied about is Bruce Rauner, who last year retired from Chicago-based private equity firm GTCR. He has openly acknowledged that his decision was borne of a desire to become more involved with local civic and political issues, with many believing that he will be a Republican candidate for Illinois governor next year.

Here is what Chicago Magazine said about Rauner last spring, when it named him one of the city's 100 most powerful people:

The longtime and now semiretired partner in one of the city's biggest leveraged-buyout shops is mulling a run for governor and has the personal fortune to fund a campaign. Will he become the Chicago equivalent of Michael Bloomberg? His close ties to Rahm Emanuel can't hurt.

And now comes a second possibility: Mark Gallogly, co-founder and managing principal of Centerbridge Partners.

Capital New York today reports that a phone survey recently went out to gauge interest in a Gallogly candidacy for New York City mayor. It's unclear if the calls were commissioned by Gallogly himself, but clearly there is at least someone interested in seeing him abandon his Park Avenue office for downtown digs.

Here are a couple of the questions reportedly asked by the survey:

"Do you think New York's next mayor should have a background in business and finance like Mayor Bloomberg or should the next mayor have a different background?"

"Which statement comes closest to your point of view? That I simply cannot vote for a mayoral candidate who is a hedge fund manager? While I have concerns about voting for a mayoral candidate who is a hedge fund manager, I will consider his position on other issues before making a decision. "Or I have no concerns about voting for a mayoral candidate who is a hedge fund manager?"

"The opponents of candidate Smith say we cannot vote for someone who was in Mitt Romney's line of work, buying distressed companies, firing people and taking hundreds of millions for themselves. While supporters of candidate Smith say we [can] support because he is a self-made and successful businessman and the only candidate who has created jobs in the private sector."

Gallogly is a Democrat who sits on President Obama's economic advisory council. He had been a senior executive with The Blackstone Group (BX) before launching Centerbridge in late 2005. Calls to Gallogly's office for comment have not yet been returned.

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Dan Primack
Dan Primack
Senior Editor, Fortune

Dan Primack joined Fortune.com in September 2010 to cover deals and dealmakers, from Wall Street to Sand Hill Road. Previously, Dan was an editor-at-large with Thomson Reuters, where he launched both peHUB.com and the peHUB Wire email service. In a past journalistic life, Dan ran a community paper in Roxbury, Massachusetts. He currently lives just outside of Boston.

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