Gov. Rauner, possible 2018 opponents attend MLK breakfast

Tuesday, January 17, 2017
Rauner, possible opponents attend MLK breakfast
An annual MLK Day breakfast Monday featured Gov. Bruce Rauner, as well as five people who could unseat him in 2018.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- During an annual breakfast honoring Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner found himself among five possible candidates seeking to unseat him in 2018.

Rauner, a Republican, sat alongside Cardinal Blasé Cupich at the Rainbow PUSH breakfast as a featured guest.

"The Good Lord did not make us Democrats or Republicans. The Good Lord put us on this earth to do his work," Rauner told the crowd.

State Sen. Kwame Raoul, D-Chicago, reconfirmed his interest in running for governor.

"As I've always said I don't ever close any doors," Raoul said.

Raoul was palling around with possible Democratic primary opponent businessman Chris Kennedy. "I have friends before I ventured into politics and I consider Chris to be one of those friends,' Raoul said.

"I've talked to an awful lot of people. I'm convinced that our state is on the wrong path," Kennedy said Monday.

Then there's billionaire J.B. Pritzker, who some Democrats want to top their ticket because the wealthy Rauner reportedly committed $50 million of his own money to win re-election.

"It means that whoever is going to run against him better have the resources to run against what probably is going to be more like $100 million," Pritzker said. "I'm going to do my best. I certainly do have money but more importantly I'm willing to step up because we've got to win."

Kennedy -- no pretender himself when it comes to wealth -- said it's about more than money.

"This most important thing that occurs in this election is to listen to people," Kennedy said.

Former Gov. Pat Quinn, who lost to Rauner two years ago, said he has not ruled out a possible comeback in 2018.

"Well, we'll take a look at that at the right time," Quinn said.

Chicago Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th Ward) apparently did not attend the breakfast. ABC7 did not see him there and no one answered the phone at his office.

Earlier this month, Pawar officially announced his candidacy to run in the 2018 Democratic primary for governor.