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State Sen. Daniel Biss announces run for governor

Chicago Sun Times

Monday, March 20, 2017  |  Article  |  Mitch Dudek and Maudlyne Ihejirika

Candidates--Statewide (12)

State Sen. Daniel Biss made it official Monday morning: he’s running for governor.

“It’s time to start solving problems,” Biss said in announcing his candidacy on Facebook Live. “This is a campaign for the rest of us.”

Biss was seated in front of a laptop computer when he made his announcement, and then begane responding to questions and comments being posted on Facebook.

Among the first questions was one dealing with school funding; Biss said it was time to “finally ask the richest Illinois residents to pay their share for a fair and just education system.”

He also urged people to “resist this president at every turn.”

He joins a crowded Democratic primary field that already includes: Chicago Ald. Ameya Pawar (47th); businessman Chris Kennedy; Bob Daiber, a superintendent of schools in Madison County; as well as business owner Alex Paterakis.

Meanwhile, billionaire venture capitalist J.B. Pritzker has filed to establish an exploratory committee for governor, moving ever closer to deciding whether he, too, will chase the Democratic nomination.

Rauner has attacked other candidates for being beholden to longtime House Speaker Michael Madigan, but Biss said he’s not among them.

“I’ve been clear for a long time that Madigan has been there too long,” Biss said Monday.

Biss helped to raise $10 million to run anti-Rauner ads before the November election. He lives in Evanston and represents the 9th District in the Illinois Senate; he previously served one term in the Illinois House, representing the 17th District. He grew up in Bloomington, Indiana, and moved to Chicago after obtaining his bachelor’s degree at Harvard University and a Ph.D. in mathematics at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, before joining the University of Chicago’s mathematics faculty at 25.

He has said that while teaching, his desire to confront Illinois’ most critical problems compelled him to get more involved in his community, first as an organizer, and later as an elected official. He and his wife, Karin, have two children.

Contributing: Tina Sfondeles