Sources confirm McCann to enter gubernatorial race as independent
Sources have confirmed to Prairie State Wire that state Sen. Sam McCann (R-Plainview) will enter the gubernatorial race as an independent.
McCann is expected to make his run official as early as Monday morning, according to sources.
The senator is a long-time foe of Gov. Bruce Rauner and there have been whispers about his interest in taking him on in November's general election for months. Earlier this week, WCIA3 Capital Bureau Chief Mark Maxwell took to Twitter to post, “Multiple sources tell me pro-union Republican Sen. Sam McCann has officially decided to run for governor as an independent.”
McCann and Rauner have been feuding since 2016 when Rauner backed Bryce Benton for McCann's Senate seat and donated upwards of $4 million to his campaign. This occurred after McCann publicly came down on the side of state workers during a stare-down with the governor over how state union workers contracts are structured.
Earlier this year, McCann announced that he would not be seeking re-election in the 50th District and since then has been even more of a thorn in Rauner’s side, blasting him for everything from signing abortion expansion bill HB40 into law to turning the GOP into a party that is now “unrecognizable.”
Since his days as a senator, McCann has enjoyed the overwhelming support and contributions of pro-union, state government employees and the State Journal-Register reports he is expected to continue to be the choice of state labor unions in his run for governor.
Throughout his campaign, Benton sought to make an issue out of baggage that has seemed to dog McCann over the years.
Among the episodes that have plagued McCann are questions about tens of thousands of dollars in mileage reimbursements that he claimed from his campaign fund, old IRS liens against his construction businesses related to unpaid payroll taxes, and allegations that he overbilled his military record, according to the Journal-Register.
McCann has summed up all the noise as just attacks from those angry because he has held true to his vow to always put his constituents first.
“I’m being attacked because I did what was right for this district,” he told the Journal-Register. “Powerful politicians shouldn’t be able to punish hard-working families. Not if I have anything to say about it.”
Benton had significant financial support from Liberty Principles PAC, run by Dan Proft, an owner of Local Government Information Services, which owns Prairie State Wire.
J.B. Pritzker is also on November's ballot for governor as the Democratic candidate.