Former Republican state Sen. Paul Schimpf on Monday announced his bid for candidacy for governor in 2022.
Schimpf is a U.S. Marine Corps veteran and served as the lead American attorney adviser to the Iraqi prosecutors in the trial of Saddam Hussein. He addressed a small crowd Monday at an Algonquin Holiday Inn, where he kicked off a two-day press tour throughout the state.
“Today’s announcement is not something I have spent my life preparing for – far from it. Instead, it is a decision I came to over the course of the past. year as I watched our state deteriorate,” Schimpf said. “Illinoisans are in many cases no longer proud of the state where they grew up. We’ve all watched as our friends, family and co-workers fled our state because of corruption, high taxes and excessive government regulation.”
Bull Valley resident and longtime northwest-suburban businessman Gary Rabine also has announced plans to run as a Republican candidate for governor.
Schimpf highlighted several priorities, including “responsible government,” “safe communities” and “renewed economic growth.”
“I think governor power is something that must be treated like a scalpel, not a sledgehammer, and only utilized as a last resort,” Schimpf said. “I will try to minimize these executive orders. I think that what the governor needs to do is the governor needs to be involving the Legislature in his policy decision-making.”
In 2014, Schimpf lost his campaign for Illinois attorney general to incumbent Lisa Madigan. He went on to win his 2016 campaign for state senate, where he served the 58th District, encompassing Jackson, Jefferson, Monroe, Perry, Randolph, St. Clair, Union and Washington counties. In 2019, Schimpf announced he would not seek reelection.
State Sen. Craig Wilcox, R-McHenry, also made an appearance at Monday’s news conference in a show of support for Schimpf’s campaign.
“Whoever wins that Republican primary needs to come out stronger for the general election, and knowing Paul’s character and what he’s done in the Senate and in his life before, I know that he will live up to that,” Wilcox said.
Schimpf will make additional stops Monday in Rock Island and Morris, with news conferences planned for Decatur, Mount Vernon and Waterloo on Tuesday.