These Are the Candidates Running for Illinois Governor

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Incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner is running for a second term using many of the same rallying cries that sent him to Springfield the first time around. Rauner announced his re-election bid in October 2017, once again railing against powerful Democrat and longtime nemesis Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan. The Winnetka native’s announcement included another call for lower property taxes and term limits – two of the issues he focused on in his 2014 campaign, which was his first run for public office after a career in private equity. From the past four years, he counts education funding and criminal justice reform, as well as pro-business measures and his veto of an income tax hike (that eventually took effect), among his successes. But this time around may prove more difficult. Read more on Rauner here.
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J.B. Pritzker is a member of the billionaire Pritzker family, best known for owning the Hyatt hotel chain. After months of speculation, Pritzker announced in April 2017 that he would enter the race to unseat Gov. Bruce Rauner. For years, Pritzker has been a powerful Democratic fundraiser, involved in several local and national races, and unsuccessfully ran for Congress himself in 1998. A venture capitalist, Forbes listed Pritzker as the 219th richest person in the country in 2017, with a net worth of $3.4 billion - making him another candidate capable of self-funding his campaign. Read more on Pritzker here.
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Grayson "Kash" Jackson is the Libertarian candidate for Illinois governor. Born Benjamin Winderweedle in Louisiana, the 39-year-old retired U.S. Navy officer legally changed his name in 2017 and currently resides in north suburban Antioch. Jackson's proposals include requiring any tax increases to be passed by two-thirds of voters in a referendum, as well as unspecified criminal justice reforms, which he said includes getting family courts to “stop treating divorcing couples as sources of revenue" - an issue with particular relevance to his life. Read more on Jackson here.
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Republican State Sen. Sam McCann entered the race for governor in April under the Conservative Party label after initially mulling a GOP primary run against Rauner, with whom he has long been at odds. Billing himself as the only conservative in the race, McCann says on his website that he will “push for protections that preserve our religious beliefs from being attacked by leftist values” and “work with President Trump to secure the sovereignty of our borders.” Read more on McCann here.
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