Robert F. Kennedy’s son to run for Illinois governor
CHICAGO — Chris Kennedy, son of the late Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, announced Wednesday he will run for Illinois governor in 2018, bringing the instant name recognition of his family’s political legacy to what’s expected to be a sharply contested race to unseat Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.
The Democratic businessman said Illinois is heading “in the wrong direction.”
In an email and video sent to supporters, he talked up history of service and said he wants to “restore the American dream to the people of this state.”
“Today, I am announcing my run for Governor because I love Illinois, but we have never been in worse shape,” he said.
“We don’t need incremental improvement — we need fundamental change in state government.”
Kennedy, 53, is the eighth of 11 children of Ethel Kennedy and Robert Kennedy, a former U.S. attorney general who represented New York in the Senate and was assassinated in 1968 while seeking the Democratic nomination for president. He is the nephew of former president John F. Kennedy.
His campaign video featured footage of his parents and other family members, and Kennedy told The Associated Press he believes Illinois voters “remember fondly the service to this country of the Kennedy family.”
“People will know what is in my heart,” he said. “They will know what my family taught me, they will know my values and my goals, and I think that will set me apart.”
The former chair of the University of Illinois Board of Trustees, Kennedy founded and now leads Top Box Foods, a nonprofit organization that provides affordable, healthy food to Chicago neighbourhoods.
He also serves as chair of Joseph P. Kennedy Enterprises Inc., the Kennedy family’s investment firm.