After spending months preparing to run for President Obama's former U.S. Senate seat, Chris Kennedy may now be turning his attention to Springfield.
The Sun-Times' Carol Marin reported that Kennedy, the president of the Merchandise Mart and a son of Robert F. Kennedy, is considering running for the Democratic gubernatorial nomination in 2010.
"Chris is keeping all his options open," his spokesperson told Marin.
Kennedy appeared on the cusp of entering the Senate race in May, having conducted polling and reportedly going so far as to cut a campaign ad. Kennedy never budged, however, and he has remained quiet even as Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan announced she would not run for Senate or governor. But now he's considering running for governor, Marin reports, citing "several informed sources."
A Beachwood Reporter reader who reported getting a phone call from "an outfit that was clearly field-testing messages for Chris Kennedy and against Pat Quinn" lends further support to the rumors.
Kennedy would face a stiff primary if he does run. Gov. Pat Quinn, never an ambitious fundraiser, is starting to pick up his pace (and repeatedly winning praise from Mayor Daley), while Comptroller Dan Hynes has stockpiled $3.5 million towards a potential run. But Raising money is the least of Kennedy's concerns.
The famous-named businessman has toyed with running for Congress (in 2000), governor (2002), and U.S. Senate (2004), without ever pulling the trigger. He's also mentioned as a potential candidate for the suburban Chicago House seat soon to be vacated by Mark Kirk. Should Kennedy pull back yet again, Marin writes, he "risks becoming the Hamlet of Illinois politics."