Democrats weigh 2018 challenge to Rauner; GOP on the attack

Illinois governor Bruce Rauner. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

CHICAGO (AP) – Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner sent two clear signals when he dumped $50 million into his campaign fund: The 2018 race for Illinois governor will be a rough one, and the contest starts now.

What’s still unknown is which Democrats will try to unseat the multimillionaire former businessman.

According to potential candidates and aides, those considering a bid include U.S. Rep. Cheri Bustos, businessman Chris Kennedy, state Sen. Andy Manar and billionaire investor J.B. Pritzker.

Kennedy could make an announcement next month. The others haven’t set a timeline.

The Democratic Governors Association said Rauner is more focused on getting re-elected than passing a budget.

The Illinois GOP says 2018 will present a clear choice between reformers like Rauner and those who want to raise taxes and protect political insiders.

By SARA BURNETT, Associated Press