Kellogg alumnus Chris Kennedy announces gubernatorial bid


Jose M. Osorio/Chicago Tribune/TNS

Chris Kennedy speaks at a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new development in June 2016 in Chicago. Kennedy announced Wednesday that he is running for Illinois governor.

Kristina Karisch, Assistant City Editor

Chris Kennedy (Kellogg ’94) announced his Illinois gubernatorial bid in a video message Wednesday. Kennedy, the son of the late Robert F. Kennedy, had been rumored to be considering a run for some time.

Along with the announcement, Chris Kennedy criticized the way current Gov. Bruce Rauner has been handling the ongoing state budget crisis.

“I think Gov. Rauner’s taken a state government budget problem and turned it into economic chaos for the rest of the state. I don’t think it needed to go that way. And I think it’s fixable,” Kennedy said in a Chicago Tribune article.

Under Rauner,Illinois has not had an official budget since July 2015. In this past June, the General Assembly ended the year-long stalemate by passing a temporary spending bill, which expired on Jan. 1.

Kennedy came to Illinois in 1992 to pursue a MBA from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern. He is chairman of the Kennedy family investment firm Joseph P. Kennedy Enterprises, Inc., and the treasurer of the Joseph P. Kennedy, Jr. Foundation.

Kennedy previously managed the Merchandise Mart in downtown Chicago and is now working on Wolf Point, a real estate development project that will result in high-rise rental towers. He and his wife Sheila Sinclair Kennedy run Top Box Foods, a hunger-relief nonprofit.

The gubernatorial race will be held in 2018.

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Twitter: @kristinakarisch