Sen. McCann announces run for Illinois governor
SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) —
A Republican state senator has announced an independent run for Illinois governor.
Sam McCann of Plainview announced Thursday that he will challenge incumbent Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democratic hopeful J.B. Pritzker. His running mate is Riverton resident Aaron Merreighn (muh-REEN').
The 48-year-old MCcann was elected to the state Senate in 2010. He says Rauner has "abandoned" core GOP values -- especially with Rauner recently signing laws to expand public funding for abortions and limit law enforcement interactions with immigrants.
Rauner is vulnerable with conservatives. Those same issues were the launching pad for a primary election challenge to Rauner by Rep. Jeanne Ives of Wheaton. She came within three percentage points of defeating Rauner.
McCann and Merreighn must gather 25,000 valid signatures to make the ballot as Conservative Party candidates.
This morning, Senator Sam McCann (C-Plainview) announced that he and Veterans’ Rights Activist Aaron Merreighn (pronounced “marine”) (C-Riverton) would join the Illinois Gubernatorial race as Conservative Party candidates. They will face Democratic nominee J.B. Pritzker and incumbent Republican Governor Bruce Rauner.
"When I announced I was not going to run for Senate, I said the Republican Party under Rauner was unrecognizable to me. Rauner has smeared the reputations of proven conservatives and abandoned the principles that millions of Illinois working families hold dear: economic liberty, traditional values, and law and order,” said McCann. Sen. McCann was first elected to the State Senate in 2010 and decided not to seek reelection as a Republican in 2018. In the legislature, McCann has been an advocate for taxpayers, working people and small businesses, veterans, and common sense.
McCann added, “Illinois deserves a clear choice in November. I am the only conservative in the race, and the only candidate who has stood up to both Rauner and Madigan. Our campaign offers a real chance for Illinois to break free from the politics as usual crowd. Our campaign offers the only choice voters have to take back Illinois.”
McCann tapped Veterans’ Rights Activist Aaron Merreighn as his running mate. The two have worked together on a variety of veterans issues, most notably the Quincy Veterans Home. “Rauner’s handling of the Legionnaires’ outbreak at the Quincy Veterans Home needlessly put lives at risk, and his record on veterans issues is nothing short of shameful,” said Aaron Merreighn. “Sadly, it has become symbolic of the failed leadership in Springfield that governs by crisis instead of by common sense.”
Merreighn is a United States Marine Corps combat veteran, serving five tours of duty, including three in Iraq. Following his service to his country, Merreighn worked as a mechanic for a trucking company and for a family business. He now works for the State of Illinois as a Human Resource Representative. “In the Marine Corps, the values you learn lead you to service and helping others. That is why I became an advocate for my buddies, and why I want to serve my fellow Illinoisans as Lt. Governor,” Merreighn added.
McCann and Merreighn must reach the 25,000 signature requirement to make the ballot for the General Election as the Conservative Party candidates. The General Election is November 6, 2018.