Robert F. Kennedy’s son to run for Illi­nois gov­er­nor

The Hamilton Spectator - - CANADA & WORLD - SARA BUR­NETT

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.

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