Former Senator Sam McCann today announced that he and Veterans’ Rights activist Aaron Merreighn will run on a joint ticket for Governor-Lt. Governor as Conservative Party candidates.
McCann, who had previously announced he would not be seeking re-election, has been a critic of Bruce Rauner’s leadership and has opposed the Governor on numerous policy issues.
“When I announced I was not going to run for Senate, I said the Republican Party under Rauner was unrecognizable to me,” McCann said in a statement. “Rauner has smeared the reputations of proven conservatives and abandoned the principles that millions of Illinois working families hold dear: economic liberty, traditional values, and law and order.”
McCann called himself the only candidate who will stand up to both Rauner and Democratic House Speaker Mike Madigan. McCann said, “Illinois deserves a clear choice in November. I am the only conservative in the race, and the only candidate who has stood up to both Rauner and Madigan. Our campaign offers a real chance for Illinois to break free from the politics as usual crowd. Our campaign offers the only choice voters have to take back Illinois.”
The choice of veteran and activist Aaron Merreighn as his running mate suggests that Rauner’s highly criticized management of the Legionnaire’s outbreak at the Quincy Veterans Home will be a focus of the candidates in the race.
“Rauner’s handling of the Legionnaires’ outbreak at the Quincy Veterans Home needlessly put lives at risk, and his record on veterans’ issues is nothing short of shameful,” said Merreighn. “Sadly, it has become symbolic of the failed leadership in Springfield that governs by crisis instead of by common sense.”
While voters selected their Democratic and Republican nominees in last month’s primary, third party candidates can file nominating papers between June 18 – 25. McCann will be required to get the signatures of 25,000 qualified voters.
In last month’s Republican primary, Republican State Representative Jeanne Ives challenged Rauner, who narrowly escaped with just a three-point win. The race was much closer than many expected and, consequently, highlighted just how vulnerable Rauner heading into the general election.
Democratic businessman J.B. Pritzker is also running.