Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford has officially thrown his hat into the ring for the 2014.
The 58-year-old from Pontiac announced Sunday he will seek the Republican nomination for governor, United Press International reports.
"It's hard to win statewide as a Republican, but I can tell you what, I'm positive that we can do it again," Rutherford said according to the Tribune. Rutherford made his announcement before supporters at Harry Caray's in Chicago on the outset of a three-day tour of the state.
Rutherford's announcement is the first major news on the GOP side of the governor's race since U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock said he decided to opt out in April.
Even without a recognizable name like Schock challenging him, the GOP's field is expected to be crowded. Republican state senators like Matt Murphy and Kirk Dillard are both rumored to be in the running, along with the well-connected businessman Bruce Rauner, among others.
The Tribune notes that entering the ring is also a gamble for Rutherford: If he loses, he'll be out of elected office.
For Gov. Pat Quinn, his troubles hardly start with Rutherford. The deeply unpopular governor faces potentially formidable challengers from within his own party in addition to his Republican rivals. To top it off, Quinn is also coming off a spring session in which all of his top legislative priorities failed.
The pension reform bill's failure was not lost on former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley who is rumored to be considering a primary challenge of Quinn and blasted the statehouse's inaction on the issue. Daley said the "dysfunction" in Springfield is pushing him closer to announcing a decision on whether he'll run, the Tribune reports.
“Where’s the leadership?” Daley told the paper.