State senator to run for governor

State Sen. Daniel Biss D-Evanston is running for governor.| Rich Hein  Sun-Times

Biss, a former mathematics professor at the University of Chicago, who now represents the 9th District which encompasses several north suburbs, has been a vocal critic of Rauner. Biss said he chose the format so he could speak one-on-one with voters and answer their questions, calling it the start of a "movement of the people". "If you believe what we need to do is build a movement and build a politics based on what people need i'm optimistic about this race". Biss blamed the current governor for the state's budget problems, which have led to funding cuts for child care, health care and education. That's down from 63 percent previous year. He was among the harshest critics of Rauner and other Republicans during the 2016 campaign, creating a federal super PAC that spent millions on TV ads linking the governor to then-presidential candidate Donald Trump.

Rauner helped fund millions of dollars in ads past year on behalf of Republican legislative candidates seeking to erode Democratic majorities in the Illinois House and Senate by attacking Madigan, the longtime speaker who also chairs the state Democratic Party. He called the super PAC that Biss formed a "Madigan political front group". It also got money from longtime Democratic donors - including $3 million from money manager Michael Sacks and $1.25 million from media mogul Fred Eychaner - as well as from organized labor. He considered a bid for comptroller past year but later bowed out.

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Biss is the fifth Democratic candidate to publicly challenge Rauner in his re-election campaign. In one, the senator juggled flaming sticks as he talked about ways to shore up the state's finances. Biss launched his campaign for IL governor on Monday, joining an already crowded race. Other candidates include Chicago Ald. Andy Manar of Bunker Hill, also is exploring a bid for governor.

"I've been clear for a long time that Madigan's been there for too long", said Biss, who mentioned a Constitutional amendment he pushed in 2011 that would've imposed term limits prohibiting legislative members from serving in leadership positions for more than ten years. The Evanston native graduated from Harvard with his undergrad and from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology with his Ph.D. before going on to teach mathematics at the University of Chicago.

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