The Republican primary for governor is likely to get more crowded today.
Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin is expected to announce his candidacy for the Republican nomination to challenge Democratic incumbent JB Pritzker. State Representative Avery Bourne is expected to be Irvin’s running mate. Bourne has not made her 2022 intentions made public yet.
Irvin joins a crowded field of declared Republican candidates that include State Senator Darren Bailey of Xenia, Businessman Gary Rabine, former State Senator Paul Schimpf, and venture capitalist Jesse Sullivan.
The move has been speculated in various circles for over a week. Irvin is expected to join a recent slate of candidates that may receive financial backing from Illinois billionaire Ken Griffin.
In reaction to the announcement over the weekend, the Democratic Governors Association released a video over the weekend featuring multiple clips of Irvin praising Pritzker’s leadership on the pandemic and other issues.
Irvin, a Gulf War veteran, has been involved in Aurora politics since 2003. He was defeated twice by former Democrat Mayor Tom Weisner, before eventually winning the seat in 2017 and becoming the first black mayor of Aurora.