Rep. Cheri Bustos announced Tuesday that she's given herself 30 days to decide whether she’ll join the 2018 governor’s race.
Bustos, a downstate Democrat, told the Quad-City Times Tuesday that she's weighing a variety of factors, like whether the governor’s mansion is the best place for her to affect change.
“As I weigh this, it is a matter of where can I make the biggest difference and how I can be a in a position to help our state and region as much as possible,” she told the paper.
The congresswoman, who won reelection in November, also voiced concern over whether her brand of politics would appeal to statewide voters.
“Does my brand of politics and governing, does it resonate in other parts of Illinois?” Bustos asked. “I’m a downstater. My politics are not the same as perhaps another member of Congress in another part of the state.”
Bustos questioned whether she can move Illinois in a new direction amid the ongoing gridlock in Springfield. The state has been without a full budget since July of 2015.
“I ask myself, ‘Am I the best person to set our state on a healthier path?’ and I take that part very, very seriously,” she said. “And if there’s something that keeps me up at night as I make that decision, it is that.”
“I think about that a lot,” she added.
After months of speculation, Chicago Democrat Chris Kennedy announced his candidacy Wednesday in the governor’s race.
Kennedy, the son of the late Robert F. Kennedy, became the second high-profile Democrat to officially challenge Gov. Bruce Rauner after Ald. Ameya Pawar announced his candidacy last month. In his announcement Wednesday, Kennedy stressed solidarity and touted his business acumen.
“It’s time for Illinois to again embrace the American Dream — the notion that we are a country and a state where anyone can make it and where unlimited opportunity is the promise of our country,” Kennedy said in a statement. “Every job I’ve had, every organization I’ve been a part of, has relied on teams working together and shared leadership, which resulted in shared success.”
“Together, we can fix the mess and restore the promise of our state,” he added.
Shortly after Kennedy's announcement, Billionaire Democrat J.B. Pritzker indicated that he’s still “seriously considering" a run for governor in 2018.
“I’ve listened to people throughout Illinois, and it’s clear that our government isn;t working effectively for them,” Pritzker said in a statement. “Governor Rauner has failed to address the real needs and concerns facing our state.”
“We need a new leader with a record of getting results, who wakes up every day thinking about improving the lives of working families and people across Illinois,” he added.