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🐘 Who are the Republicans vying for governor?

By Sidney Madden | @sidney_madden_

🐘 GOP Governor’s Race

The race to cinch the Republican nomination for the governor’s seat has gotten crowded. And two debates this week — scheduled on the same night on different stations — will give voters a chance to hear from the candidates.

The NBC debate Tuesday at 6 p.m.

Richard Irvin, Paul Schimpf, and Max Solomon. (Brian Cassella / E. Jason Wambsgans / Max Solomon / Tribune / Getty)

Richard Irvin is the well-funded mayor of Aurora who has made law and order the focal point of his campaign. The long-time mayor is backed by billionaire Ken Griffin, who has donated $45 million to the Irvin campaign. 

A frontrunner, Irvin is playing the long game, dodging questions about former President Trump to appeal to more moderate voters for the general election, WTTW’s Amanda Vinicky told City Cast. But he needs to win the primary first.

Paul Schimpf is a former state senator and ex-marine who is running an anti-corruption campaign. The downstate politician knows his stuff, Vinicky said, but remains largely unknown by voters, something televised debates could change. 

Max Solomon is an attorney from south suburban Hazel Crest who wants to amp up private school access, and is against abortions and mask mandates.

The WGN debate Tuesday at 7 p.m.

Darren Bailey, Jesse Sullivan, and Gary Rabine. (John J. Kim / E. Jason Wambsgans / Stacey Wescott / Tribune / Getty)

Darren Bailey is a state senator and farmer who gained notoriety downstate for challenging the governor’s pandemic mandates. Bailey is working to cultivate that same recognition in Chicago, and rescinded a resolution he sponsored for the city to break away from the rest of the state, Vinicky said. 

Bailey, who has tried to attach himself to Trump, trailed behind Irvin in a WGN poll last week. 

Jesse Sullivan is a businessperson who has branded himself as a “conservative outsider” who will end high taxes, corruption, and crime. The central Illinoisan also plans to defund teachers unions and remove “radical” curricula from classrooms to “restore educational excellence in our schools.” 

Gary Rabine is an entrepreneur who says his experience creating 30 small local businesses will help him create more jobs in Illinois. The Bull Valley resident is also pro–tax cuts, pro–Second Amendment, and anti-abortion.

👉 In Chicago, early voting starts Thursday.

📱 Psst, what election questions do you have? Let us try to answer them! Email, or text/call 773-780-0246.

📰 Newsfeed

More downtown shootings. Another shooting happened at Millennium Park Friday, a day after the city’s new ban and security detectors went into place. Thursday night, 10 people were shot, two fatally, at a McDonald’s on the Near North Side. [BlockClub]

Data breach exposed 560,000 CPS students, teachers’ info. Students’ names, birthdates, genders, and course info were among the records exposed after a ransomware attack in December. No financial records or Social Security numbers were included, CPS said. [Sun-Times]

Stacy Davis Gates to lead Chicago Teachers Union. The current progressive caucus will stay in charge of CTU following last week’s hotly contested election. Davis Gates’ faction won 56% of the vote, avoiding a runoff. [Chalkbeat]

Willie Wilson giveaways cont. The entrepreneur and mayoral challenger is giving away $1 million in gas and $200,000 in food this week. [Willie Wilson]

Missed Harry’s House pop-up? Me too 😥 Pop-ups launched around the world for the new album. If you went to the Chicago one, let me know so I can live vicariously through you. #SadSid [Harry Styles]

❓ Guess This Chicagoan

Last week, we told you about McDonald’s complicated history with Black franchise owners. Today, one historic franchisee owner is being honored. Reply with the correct answer of this Chicagoan, and you could win City Cast swag! 


▪️ Worked as a barber in Stony Island and for the CTA to save for the East Woodlawn eatery.
▪️ Became the first Black McDonald’s franchisee in 1968. 
▪️ Part of Marquette Road between Stony Island and Dorchester will be named after him today.

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