Who’s Who in the Gubernatorial Race? Get to Know Your Candidates

With general elections happening this November, it’s time to start thinking about who you want to place your vote for.


“American Flag” by Chris Yarzab is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

Bee Bishop, Managing Editor

Midterm elections are this year. Everything from the federal to the local to the state level is running the election race. One of the most coveted positions is the gubernatorial position. The governor has the ability to influence the rising or falling of wages, education via school and scholarship funding and the increase or decline of taxes.

With the political atmosphere thick with tension and disagreement, election season can be a rather stressful time. However one of the best ways to mitigate the anxiety is to research and learn about the candidates. With the race for Illinois’ governor finalizing in Nov., the best time to learn who might be taking over as soon as possible. 

The Democrats

First on the ballet is Gov. J.B. Pritzker. Originally a businessman, Pritzker is the incumbent Democratic candidate, and his running mate is Juliana Stratton. During his time as governor, Pritzker has led Illinois through the COVID-19 pandemic by opening vaccination sites and providing health workers with protective equipment. He has worked to improve the education system by raising the minimum wage for teachers and expanding the number of Illinoisi students who are eligible for federal tuition aid. Additionally, Pritzker stands by a woman’s right to choose and protect reproductive rights in the event that Roe v. Wade is overturned. 

“My values have led me to do big things that have a lasting impact on people’s lives,” Pritzker’s website says. “And since taking office in 2019 as Governor of Illinois, I’ve been working every day to put our government back on the side of working families.”

Beverly Miles is the opposing Democratic candidate. She is a registered nurse, has 20 years of experience and was elected vice president of a local Veterans Health Administration nursing union in Dec. 2020. Additionally, Miles is a retired Army major and is a member of Chicago’s Advisory Committee on Veteran Affairs. Her running mate is Karla Shaw. 

“I served my country; I now stand to serve the great state of Illinois,“ Miles’ website says. 

The Republicans

Darren Bailey is one of six Republican candidates. He was raised on a family farm, Bailey Family Farm, and currently runs the same farm with his sons. In 2018, Bailey was elected to the 109th district of the Illinois House of Representatives and currently represents the 55th district in the Illinois State Senate. His running mate is Stephanie Trussell. Bailey says that as governor, he would work towards a return to normalcy from the COVID-19 pandemic and attract new businesses and support job creation. Bailey also follows anti-abortion ideaology and is a strong supporter of the Second Amendment. 

“Today, there is a political class that is ignoring our values and harming American families,” Bailey’s website says. “Illinois needs a leader that is one of us.”

Richard Irvin is another one of the Republican candidates. Right after Irvin graduated East Aurora high school, he joined the military and used the Illinois veterans’ benefits to get a Bachelor of Arts from Robert Morris University and a Juris Doctorate from Northern Illinois University School of Law. Originally a prosecutor with the Kane County State’s Attorney’s Office, Irvin is the twice-elected mayor of Aurora. His running mate is Avery Bourne. His goals as governor are to further support law enforcement agencies to keep crime low, fight for property tax cuts and a balanced budget and oppose corruption in the Illinois government system.

“Richard Irvin knows what it means to take on tough challenges and defy the odds,” says Irvin’s website.

Jesse Sullivan is an additional Republican candidate. Sullivan grew up on a family farm with eight siblings. In his about page, Sullivan cites Former President Abraham Lincoln as an inspiration for him morally and politically. His running mate is Kathleen Murphy. As governor, Sullivan would focus on economic growth by means of supporting small businesses and developing cryptocurrency-based business, lowering the crime rate by supporting law enforcement and fixing the corruption in the system. 

“Our state should be exceptional, but our politics are terrible,” Sullivan’s website says. “I want to make Illinois a ‘shining city on a hill’ that Lincoln would be proud of.”

Max Solomon is another Republican candidate. As well as a private practice licensed attorney, Solomon is a former distinguished adjunct political science professor at South Suburban College. He has a bachelor’s degree in political science, a J.D. degree in law and a masters degree in theology. His running mate is Latasha Fields. As governor, Sullivan plans on giving parents the right to have a say in their children’s education, reforming the pension system and working to strengthen vocational programs, trade schools and other job training initiatives.

“Gifted with a spirit of service, strength and a passionate advocate of public service,” Solomon’s website says. “Max believes that Illinois has been broken by career politicians who have failed to understand and to address the cause of our problems.  He thus calls on all Illinoisans to help him ‘Fix Illinois.’” 

Paul Schimpf is also an opposing Republican candidate. Schimpf was a member of the Marine Corps and the head prosecutor for the Recruit Depot and the Marine Corps Western Recruiting Region. His running mate is Carolyn Schofield. As governor, Schimpf plans to help support veterans and their families. He believes in parents having responsibility in their children’s education, including having a say in the curriculum and requiring parental consent for schools to administer non-emergency medical treatment. Schimpf also takes a strong stand against government overreach. 

“Our state still has tremendous potential, but dysfunctional government and failed leadership from the governor’s mansion is holding us back,” Schimpf’s website says. “As your next governor, I will provide the common sense leadership we desperately need to fix Illinois.”

Gary Rabine is the last Republican gubernatorial candidate. Rabine is a businessman, his first business being a driveway sealing company, and he now works to strengthen the Rabine Group, which is a construction and engineering company that does business in all 50 states. His running mate is Aaron Del Mar. Rabine plans to focus on supporting trade-based jobs and mentorships to help limit the amount of college debt and level property taxes to encourage homeownership.

“My experience as a business builder and raising my family in Illinois has prepared me to take on the challenges we face,” Rabine’s website says. “I’m the true outsider who can bring real reform to Springfield and bring back the Illinois American Dream.”

The Illinois Primary election is June 28, which will narrow the contest down to one Democrat and one Republican. The general election is Nov. 8. Make sure you are registered to vote. If you need to register, the DuPage County Clerk’s office can be of assistance. The League of Women Voters of Illinois can help with any questions or concerns with the election process.