Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner has officially announced that he will run for re-election in 2018.
Rauner, who has been running new TV campaign ads touting progress on issues such as education reform, announced the news in a new video Monday. The announcement comes the day before the General Assembly begins its veto session in Springfield.
"They said it couldn’t be done, that it was crazy to think this place could be saved, that we should give up, give in and resign our hopes and dreams to a corrupt culture of permanent political failure," Rauner says at the start of his announcement. "The Madigan machine is just too strong, they say. It will never go away, it will never fail to fail us. It’s time to just accept corruption and staggnation as not only what we have but who we are. Well, I say we can’t and we won’t."
Rauner has already raised $70 million for his re-election bid, $50 million of which he donated to his own campaign.
The governor has played his cards close to the vest when it comes to his re-election bid.
“I will never give up on working to protect Illinois, (or on) working to create a better future for the people of Illinois,” he said earlier this month when asked about his intentions.
In his newest announcement, Rauner said Illinois still needs "property tax relief, real term limits and a budget that won't bankrupt or break us."
"In spite of the odds, millions of us believe," he said. "Now, we have a choice: we can throw in the towel, walk away and leave our future to the same corrupt career politicans or we can fight. I choose to fight."
With Rauner’s entry into the race, Republicans will be left deciding whether to challenge him in the primary after his controversial decision to sign House Bill 40, a bill that expanded abortion coverage for women on Medicaid in the state.
That decision has a coalition of conservative anti-abortion groups seeking an alternative candidate, and one of those potential contenders is State Representative Jeanne Ives of suburban Wheaton.
The deadline to turn in petitions to run in the primaries is set for December, so candidates will have to act quickly if they intend to take Rauner on.