Jan 18, 2022 - Politics

Aurora mayor Richard Irvin announces for governor

Man in a suit.
Aurora mayor Richard Irvin. Photo courtesy of Irvin/Bourne campaign

Richard Irvin, the moderate Republican mayor of Aurora, announced his candidacy for Illinois governor on Martin Luther King Jr. Day after months of speculation.

Why it matters: The candidate will likely be backed by billionaire Ken Griffin, who has pledged to spend millions to beat incumbent JB Pritzker, sources tell Axios.

  • "I am excited that [Irvin] has decided to join the race, and look forward to the opportunity to meet him and learn more about his ideas in the weeks ahead," Griffin said in a statement.

What they're saying: "Where JB Pritzker has failed in Illinois, I have succeeded in Aurora," Irvin said in a press release. "If we can do it in Aurora, we can do it for all of Illinois."

Bigger picture: Irvin would top a ticket that has been vetted by Griffin and other Illinois Republican donors, including:

  • Lieutenant Governor: State rep Avery Bourne (Morrisville).
  • Secretary of State: U.S. Attorney John Milhiser (Sangamon County).
  • Attorney General: Attorney Steve Kim (Northbrook).
  • Treasurer: State rep Tom Demmer (Dixon).
  • Comptroller: Auditor Shannon Teresi (McHenry County).

What's missing: There is no candidate slated to take on incumbent Senator Tammy Duckworth.

Yes, but: Not every Republican is excited about yesterday's announcement. Irvin joins a crowded field of candidates, including former state senator and conservative Darren Bailey.

  • "Not surprised to see the establishment already cuddling up with a career Democrat like Irvin," Bailey tweeted. "Some people are willing to throw away principles for a few bucks."

The other side: Not to be outdone, Gov. Pritzker wrote himself a $90 million dollar check this weekend that will go to "turning out voters and ensuring Democrats across the state run competitive races and have the resources to win," Pritzker campaign spokesperson Natalie Edelstein tells Axios.

What's next: Candidates can start circulating petitions to get on the ballot. The primary for governor is on June 28.

Editor's note: This story was corrected to reflect Ken Griffin has not officially committed to supporting Richard Irvin.

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