Chris Kennedy, son of the late Sen.
Chris Kennedy, the businessman son of the slain Robert F. Kennedy, announced Wednesday he will run for IL governor.
Kennedy said he will officially file paperwork with the Illinois State Board of Elections to launch his campaign for governor of Illinois. Pat Quinn and left before Gov. Bruce Rauner took over.
Kennedy has considerable personal wealth that he said he would be willing to use to fund a campaign against Rauner, who late previous year put $50 million of his personal fortune into his re-election fund, or to help him compete in what could be a hard Democratic primary. "We don't need incremental improvement--we need fundamental change in state government", Kennedy said. He previously served as Chairman of the Board of the Greater Chicago Food Depository. "By working together to achieve results for IL families, I believe we can restore the American Dream in our state within a generation". Rauner and the state legislature has been in a standoff for 19 months over approving the state's budget.
Rauner and Speaker of the House Michael Madigan have been locked in a bitter fight over the IL budget. He has yet to hold elected office, but he's flirted with the idea of running for governor and U.S. Senate for some time.
Illinois Republican Party spokesman Steven Yaffe said in a statement that Kennedy secretly met with the state's House of Representatives Speaker Mike Madigan to "kiss his ring".
Kennedy said Rauner is trying to blame others for problems that he has created, and that the governor "needs to lead, not attack".
Kennedy may face a hard Democratic primary, however, with the AP listing Chicago alderman Ameya Pawar as another candidate. He leads Top Box Foods, a nonprofit organization he co-founded with his wife that provides affordable, healthy foods to Chicago neighborhoods. At U of I, Kennedy oversaw a $5.5 billion budget, 78,000 students and more than 23,000 faculty and staff.