Biss Kicks Off Gubernatorial Campaign In Normal | WGLT

Biss Kicks Off Gubernatorial Campaign In Normal

Mar 20, 2017

Democratic Gubernatorial Candidate Daniel Biss speaking to a group at the Normal Public Library.
Credit Mike Miletich / WGLT

Illinois State Senator Daniel Biss is joining a growing field of Democrats hoping to unseat Republican Governor Bruce Rauner in 2018.

During a stop in Normal Monday night, the former University of Chicago math professor called for a movement of ordinary people to take on money and "the machine."

Biss said the campaign process won't be easy as he's not the richest candidate for the job.

"For people who believe that what we need to do is take power in our state back so that politicians make decisions based not on what billionaires or machine-politicians want, but rather on what the people need, then the movement we're building is the movement for you," said Biss. 

Biss said he aims to end Illinois' nearly two-year state budget stalemate, have better investment in schools and communities and a graduated income tax in which the highest earners pay a larger percentage of their income.

Shortly after Biss announced his campaign for 2018 through a Facebook live stream Monday morning, the Illinois Republican Party sent out a statement calling him the "North Shore branch of the Madigan machine."

Biss said he has been clear for a long time that Madigan's been there for too long. But, Biss said the problems are about a broken system rather than one person.

"I think political fights about one person or another person, or a personality are a distraction from the work we have to do. If we remove one person without doing that work, we won't have fixed things," said Biss.

Biss also said Rauner and other Illinois politicians spend more time laying the blame than outlying a fix for the state's budget. 

The group watching Biss give his first speech after announcing his candidacy for governor.
Credit Mike Miletich / WGLT

Biss served in the Illinois House from 2011-2012 and has been a member of the state Senate since 2013. He will be giving up his Senate seat to run for governor.

Democrats who've already entered the race for governor include businessman Chris Kennedy, Chicago Alderman Amaya Pawar, and Bob Daiber, the regional superintendent of schools in Madison County. Billionaire investor J.B. Pritzker has also said he's "exploring" a run.

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