Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin enters GOP primary race for governor

“My city is safer, strong and full of opportunity. I want that for Illinois,” Irvin said

Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin praised the response of local, state and federal law enforcement after a shooting Friday at the Henry Pratt Co. warehouse in Aurora. "We must never forget those innocent people who were senselessly, senselessly gunned down," Irvin said.

Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin jumped into a crowded Republican primary for governor Monday asserting he is the best pick to take on Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker in the general election.

“I grew up in Section 8 public housing in Aurora; right now I serve as mayor,” Irvin said in a video. “My granddad taught me to believe in myself and do the best I could at whatever I could. I enlisted in the Army and served in Desert Storm where I developed the discipline it takes to complete a mission.”

As a two-term mayor, Irvin said he had hired more police to bring crime down, reduced property taxes and promoted redevelopment.

“My city is safer, strong and full of opportunity. I want that for Illinois,” he said.

Downstate Rep. Avery Bourne is Irvin’s choice as his lieutenant governor. Bourne, comes from a farming family and serves on the House appropriations and education committees. The 29-year-old represents the state’s 95th District.

Many Republican voters, however, likely will want an explanation for why Irvin pulled Democratic ballots in the 2014, 2016 and 2020 general primaries and in the 2017 and 2021 consolidated primaries.

Irvin picked a Republican ballot in the 2018 primary that former Gov. Bruce Rauner won.

Additional GOP suburban candidates for governor include Gary Rabine of McHenry County, a Schaumburg business owner who is seeking to be the next governor. Palatine Township Highway Commissioner Aaron Del Mar is running as lieutenant governor with Rabine.

McHenry County Board Vice Chairwoman Carolyn Schofield will team with gubernatorial hopeful and former state Sen. Paul Schimpf of Monroe County as a candidate for lieutenant governor.

Other contenders are state Sen. Darren Bailey of Louisville and venture capitalist Jesse Sullivan of Petersburg.