11/16/2009 05:12 am ET Updated May 25, 2011

Andy McKenna, Former State GOP Chair, Matt Murphy Team Up In Governor's Race

Former Illinois Republican party chairman Andy McKenna and State Sen. Matt Murphy(R-Palatine) are teaming up to form an unofficial ticket in the 2010 gubernatorial race.

Less than a month after abruptly resigning his post as head of the state GOP, McKenna will make a run for governor while Murphy will abandon his own gubernatorial bid to run for lieutenant governor alongside McKenna.

The two men met Wednesday to cement the deal,according to Capitol Fax's Rich Miller.

State law forbids officially linking candidates for governor and lieutenant governor, but unofficial partnerships are nothing new. Judy Baar Topinka, the last Republican gubernatorial nominee, tapped DuPage County State's Attorney Joe Birkett as her running mate in a two-birds-one-stone move meant to eliminate a primary rival while bolstering her credibility among social conservatives. The pair beat a crowded field to win the Republican nomination for governor and lieutenant governor, respectively, in 2006.

McKenna faces a similarly tough slog, with State Sens. Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard, DuPage County Board Chairman Bob Schillerstrom, political consultant Dan Proft and businessman Adam Andrzejewski all gunning for the GOP nomination.

No such alliances have yet emerged in the Democratic race, where Gov. Pat Quinn, who was lieutenant governor under Rod Blagojevich before being elevated by Blagojevich's impeachment, is facing State Comptroller Dan Hynes.