sources: McKenna to join race for Ill. governor
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[September 17, 2009]
SPRINGFIELD (AP) -- Andy McKenna, the former chairman of the
Illinois Republican Party, intends to join the crowded field of
people running for governor, two people who have been briefed on the
plan said Wednesday.
In addition, state Sen. Matt Murphy will abandon his bid for
governor and instead run for lieutenant governor as McKenna's
unofficial running mate, said the people with knowledge of the plan,
who spoke on condition of anonymity because they weren't authorized
to reveal McKenna's plans yet.
McKenna, a Chicago businessman, sought the GOP nomination for U.S.
Senate in 2004 but lost to Jack Ryan, who later dropped out.
McKenna served nearly five years as party chairman. When he stepped
down from that post a month ago, McKenna gave no indication he
planned to run for governor. Earlier, he had considered running for
Senate again but stepped aside so that U.S. Rep. Mark Kirk could
seek the nomination next year.
McKenna led the Republican Party during a period of setbacks. The
party doesn't hold a single statewide office in Illinois and is in
the minority in both legislative chambers. He is often criticized by
more conservative Republicans.
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Republicans already running for governor include state Sens. Kirk
Dillard and Bill Brady, DuPage County Board chairman Robert
Schillerstrom and public relations consultant Dan Proft.
Murphy, a senator from Palatine since 2007, was running an uphill
battle for the gubernatorial nomination. Voters pick the nominees
for governor and lieutenant governor separately, but he and McKenna
can cooperate with one another and hope they both win their races.
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