State Sen. Daniel Biss, on March 20, announced that he is launching a campaign to unseat Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner in the 2018 gubernatorial election.
Biss made the announcement via Facebook Live, where he said the campaign would be a more direct, grassroots effort to fix a stalemate between Rauner and Illinois Machine politicians, adding, "This is a campaign for the rest of us."
Biss acknowledged that fixing that stalemate would a monumental task, adding, "My responsibility is to work with everybody … But we have to acknowledge what has gotten us to this political moment."
Illinois' lack of a budget is "an abomination," according to Biss. "No state has been in this situation before … It is a failure and it is wrong. People are hurting in every corner of this state."
He further noted, "I'm not the millionaire or billionaire in this race," characterizing the upcoming run as a citizens' movement that could potentially mobilize the power that he said had been usurped by both entrenched politicians and wealthy Illinoisans. "I'm running for governor to be part of that movement."
Biss, a mathematician, has represented the 9th District in the state senate since 2013. His district includes Evanston, Glencoe, Glenview, Morton Grove, Northbrook, Northfield, Skokie, Wilmette and Winnetka. He also served as a state representative from 2011-2013. In 2016, he announced a run for State Comptroller, but eventually dropped out of that race.
He has a strong record on supporting rights for LGBT Illinoisans. Biss is currently chief sponsor of a bill that prohibits gay panic as a legal defense, for example, and was also chief sponsor in the Senate of the bill that led to the prohibition against anti-gay conversion therapy for LGBT minors.
Among those who've also announced runs against Rauner on the Democratic ticket are Chicago Ald. Ameya Prawar (47th Ward) and businessman Christopher Kennedy. Businessman J.B. Pritzker and state Sen. Andy Manar are also exploring the possibilities of running, according to reports.