State Watch

First Black mayor of Aurora to run as GOP challenger in Illinois governor’s race

The first Black mayor of Aurora, Illinois, Richard Irvin, announced on Monday that he would join Illinois’s gubernatorial race, running as a Republican.

Irvin is the fifth person to join the crowded field seeking the GOP’s top spot ahead of a primary and the November election in an effort to challenge incumbent Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D). 

In a video announcing his candidacy, Irvin described his vision for Illinois as a place “where a growing economy provides ladders of opportunity for anyone willing to work, where families are safe, where kids are educated, not indoctrinated.”

Among other issues discussed in the video, the mayor of Illinois’s second-largest city addressed defunding the police.

“Defund the police is dumb, dangerous and it costs lives,” he said, adding that he believed that “all lives matter” and that crime in Aurora was down because the police budget was up. 

Irvin, an Army veteran and former prosecutor, would be the state’s first Black governor if elected. He will run with 29-year-old Rep. Avery Bourne, who was the youngest lawmaker to be appointed in Illinois when she took on the position in 2015, according to The Associated Press

Others running for the GOP slot include state Sen. Darren Bailey, businessman Gary Rabine, former state Sen. Paul Schimpf and equity investor Jesse Sullivan, the AP reported.


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