This Democratic primary ticket is the longest of longshots. ABC7 Eyewitness News caught up with the running mates at Manny's Deli in the South Loop.
With only a few thousand dollars and no support from the party organization political newcomer Hardiman says with a targeted approach, he can beat incumbent Governor Pat Quinn on March 18.
"I plan to concentrate on certain counties that turnout most of the vote in the Democratic primary," Hardiman said.
Hardiman's running mate is former Cook County prosecutor Brunell Donald.
"So many people are so happy that Tio Hardiman and Brunell Donald are actually on the ballot," Donald said.
The one-time Ceasfire director lost his job after his wife charged him with domestic abuse, an allegation she has since recanted.
"That's a thing of the past now," Hardiman said. "We've resolved all of our internal issues."
The African-American running mates blame Governor Quinn for Illinois budget deficits, foreclosures and joblessness, including what they say is a 92 percent unemployment rate for black teenagers.
"That's unacceptable," said Hardiman. "A lot of our leaders have sold these young brothers and sisters out."
"This is not about race," Donald said. "This is about class."
Quinn has all but ignored the challengers. The governor has no plan to debate Hardiman and his campaign recently dropped its challenge to Donald's candidacy.
Still, Hardiman says there's enough anti-Quinn sentiment among Democrats to make a difference.
"And I'm telling people if you're really tired of Pat Quinn, then help us win," Hardiman said.
With under eight weeks until Election Day, there are no Democratic ward or township committee members, county chairmen or elected officials in Illinois who have endorsed Hardiman.
He says that won't make a difference. He'll have enough volunteer boots on the ground come Election Day.