10 February, 2017
The Illinois Republican Party is tying Chris Kennedy's run for governor to the state's House speaker, who is mired in a state's budget impasse. In an email and video sent to his supporters, the Democratic businessman said that IL is heading "in the wrong direction" under Republican.
Mr. Kennedy is the eighth of 11 children of Ethel and Robert Kennedy and the nephew of former President John F. Kennedy.
Kennedy managed the Merchandise Mart, one of the largest LEED-certified buildings in the world.
"I think it's important that people of drive and ambition and intelligence like Gov. Rauner does", Kennedy told WGN's Robin Baumgarten, "but I think you also have to have a heart and a sensitivity, and I don't think there's any demonstration that he has a heart".
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"We need change, not incremental change, but fundamental change", Kennedy said in an announcement video posted online Wednesday. Madigan, who serves as the chairman of the Democratic Party of IL, said Kennedy would make an "excellent candidate" for governor. "Chris Kennedy secretly met with Madigan this summer to kiss his ring and get Madigan's blessing", the Illinois GOP said in a statement. He and his wife Sheila Sinclair Kennedy run Top Box Foods, a hunger-relief nonprofit. The real estate developer compared his wealth to that of Rauner who chaired a private equity firm.
"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", he added.
Kennedy plans to tackle Rauner's failures as well as try to rebuild the state's dire economy.
"Mike Madigan has already endorsed Chris Kennedy's run because he knows that Kennedy will never stand up to him". "What we need is an individually single-minded reformer like we have in Bruce Rauner and not a Madigan first, Madigan-attached candidate", said Tim Schneider, the chairman of the Illinois Republican Party. She ran unsuccessfully as the Democratic candidate for state treasurer in 2010. 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.