Aurora mayor to join Republican gubernatorial race, sources say | Government and politics
AURORA – Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin will join the Republican primary contest for governor starting Monday, completing a slate seeking financial support from billionaire Ken Griffin to challenge Democrats who hold all offices across the board. of the state, sources said Friday.
Irvin, the first black mayor of Illinois’ second-largest city, would be the fifth candidate announced for the GOP nomination in the June 28 primary, with the winner facing wealthy first-term governor JB Pritzker in the election. General November.
But unlike the four previously announced nominees, Irvin’s candidacy is expected to draw support from Griffin, the state’s wealthiest person and the CEO and founder of the Citadel Financial Group. Griffin, an ardent enemy of Pritzker, had previously promised to do “everything” in an effort to defeat the Democratic governor.
Sources close to Irvin said he will make public his intention to run next week, with the announcement tentatively scheduled for Monday to coincide with Martin Luther King Day.
Irvin’s name began to surface, along with talk of a list for Republicans to consider, last month with the possibility of funding by Griffin to offset the financial largesse of Pritzker, a billionaire heir to the fortune. Hyatt hotels.
Griffin’s office had no comment on the formation of the slate.
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The slate has taken shape in recent days with announcements from former U.S. Attorney John Milhiser for Secretary of State, State Representative Tom Demmer de Dixon for State Treasurer, attorney Steve Kim for Attorney General and McHenry County Auditor Shannon Teresi for Comptroller.
The list is expected to be rounded out by Irvin, who was elected Aurora’s first black mayor in 2017, and state Rep. Avery Bourne as lieutenant governor. Bourne, 29, a three-term lawmaker from Downstate Morrisonville, is seen as a future GOP star.
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Sources said Griffin was unhappy with the prospects of the four previously announced candidates for the GOP gubernatorial nomination — businessmen Gary Rabine of Bull Valley and Jesse Sullivan of Petersburg, State Senator Darren Bailey of Xenia and former state senator Paul Schimpf of Waterloo. .
Supporters say Irvin, 51, could give Republicans a chance to lure black voters away from Democrats in the general election – if he wins the Republican nomination.
But Irvin is expected to survive a likely contentious primary where his pro-immigrant rights views could clash with voters backing a harder line backed by former President Donald Trump. Additionally, Irvin has voted in the Democratic primaries in the recent past.