Chris Kennedy, Candidate for Governor

//Chris Kennedy, Candidate for Governor

Chris Kennedy, Candidate for Governor

Dear Friend & County Chair –

Thirty years ago, Chris Kennedy moved from Boston to Decatur to join the fight against hunger in Illinois.  Working for Archer Daniels Midland, he lived in Decatur and spent time in Peoria and the Metro East selling barge freight and learning the day-to-day workings of the agricultural economy in Illinois.

Thirty years later, Chris Kennedy is running for Governor to restore the American Dream to Decatur and the rest of Illinois.  Since announcing for Governor on February 8, 2017, his stops downstate have been met with large crowds that remind him why he’s in this race:  to restore the American Dream in a single generation, to invest in schools and energize the economy in every region, and to invest in children’s health and education to help young mothers and families build healthy children.

He knows that we need a Governor who believes passionately that our public universities and community colleges are vital economic assets and engines in every region of the state.  He knows that we need a Governor who understands the South and West sides of Chicago like he knows Central, Southern, Western and Eastern Illinois because, as President Franklin Roosevelt used to say, ‘We all go up, or we all go down, together.’

As Governor, he will continue his career-long support for the labor movement and its role in building the middle class because he has always believed that union labor provides a competitive advantage for Illinois’ economy.  He will fight to make sure that Illinois families, including the working men and women of the Illinois AFL-CIO, can realize the potential of the American Dream.

Last week, Chris held his first in what will be a series of town hall meetings that will give him a chance to outline his blueprint and vision for Illinois.  He focused on the inherently flawed property tax system, which leads to deep disparities between rich and poor school districts.  As Chris said, the American Dream is crippled by the current property tax system that allows the wealthy insiders to game the system.  To restore the promise of the American Dream, we must change the way we fund our grade schools and high schools.

Chris’s downstate visits also remind observers why he will be a positive force at the top of the ticket in 2018.  Quoting “Capitol Fax” (May 8, 2017):  “One of the things you can’t help but notice in the press coverage of Kennedy’s downstate appearances is the report on crowd size.  His family name is packing halls all over the place as locals come out to witness a part of history.”

A few recent examples:

* May 25th McDonough County – Democrats enjoyed their largest crowd in history.  That led McDonough County Democrats Kerry Nielsen and Lee Trotter, to say:  “Chris Kennedy brought a new message of hope to the largest crowd of Democrats ever assembled in McDonough County.”

* April 30th La Salle County – Chris spoke at the annual La Salle County Democrats’ dinner in Utica.  Normally an event that attracts 250-300, this night saw 600 energetic Democrats drive through cold and rain to attend what was the largest turnout in the last 22 years, according to La Salle County Democratic Party Chair, Rocky Raikes.

And on June 1st, Chris’s children Chris jr. and Kate Kennedy visited the Fourth Annual JFK Dinner in Whiteside County (hosted by six county parties in the region).  Look for members of the Kennedy family to make visits to your counties in the coming months as they spread out across the state to deliver Chris’s message of change for Illinois.

Last September, when Chris spoke at the Rock Island County Democrats’ 49th Annual Salute to Labor Labor Day picnic, He told the 2,000-or-so people gathered along the shores of the Mississippi River that “American history teaches us the same lessons over and over again.  We’re taught that we’re stronger together than when we’re alone …”

Kennedy often quotes President Franklin Roosevelt to convey the heart of his candidacy – that `we all go up, or we all go down, together.’  That is the meaning and message of his candidacy, and that is the message Democrats can run on and win on in every region of the state in 2018.  We need to make this campaign about extending the American Dream to every citizen in every region in Illinois.

If you need additional information about Chris Kennedy or have an event you want the campaign to know about, please visit and send the campaign a note.  Thanks for all you do to strengthen the Democratic Party at the local, grassroots level.

Brendan O’Sullivan
Campaign Manager
Kennedy for Illinois