Chris Kennedy announces run for Illinois governor

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chris kennedy

A big name in national politics has entered the race for Illinois governor: Kennedy.

Chris Kennedy, son of Robert F. Kennedy, announced on Wednesday that he will seek the Democratic nomination for governor. He could ultimately be pitted against Republican incumbent Bruce Rauner in the 2018 election.

Kennedy, who has lived in Chicago early 30 years, is a businessman and philanthropist. He brings not only the Kennedy name to the race, but the family wealth, as well, which could be key in a race against billionaire Rauner.

In his announcement Wednesday, Kennedy put sole blame for the state’s budget mess on Rauner and said he is the worst governor in the state’s history. As a result, he said, Illinois has never been in worse shape.

In a news release, Kennedy, 53, said it is time that Illinois “again embrace the American dream, the notion that we are a country and a state where anyone can make it and where ulimited opportunity is the promise of our country.”

According to published reports, Rauner has said Kennedy is tied closely to Mike Madigan, the speaker of the Illinois House and the person the governor blames most for the budget mess.

Kennedy is the eighth child of Robert and Ethyl Kennedy. He was nearly 5 years old when his father, brother of President John F. Kennedy, was assassinated while on his way to the 1968 Democratic nomination for president.

Since being in Chicago, Chris Kennedy has been manager of Merchandise Mart and involved in real estate development as well as charitable works.