Where have you shown independence from your party?


My wife and I live in Evanston with our two kids, who attend their local public school. Karin is a former Peace Corps volunteer and historian who studies communist Romania and has a passionate interest in government, politics, and service. Elliot is in 4th grade and has an intense love for fantasy novels, while Theodore is in 2nd grade and needs to figure out how everything works. The only thing I don't like about campaigning is the time away from them.

Most of the Democratic Party is in favor of a graduated income tax and I am opposed to it.

In this election, I launched my campaign with a commitment to more honest, fairer government by fixing our broken property tax system. By standing up to my own party on the issue of property taxes, I have shown independence from my party.

I'm a Progressive Democrat.

I was not endorsed by the Democratic county chairmen. People look at me as a more progressive, independent Democrat.

I am running against my party's incumbent Governor - I think that shows independence.

I've been an independent leader my entire life and that won't change as governor. There are areas where I agree with my party, like creating jobs and economic opportunity in all of our communities, expanding healthcare, and investing in quality education. There are also areas where I disagree with members of my party. I'm in favor of independently drawn legislative maps and legislative leadership term limits. As I have done for decades, when I go to Springfield, I will work with both parties to do what's best for Illinois families.Dakota. He previously had been chief of staff for popular South Dakota Governor, Dick Kneip. MK's mother served in the South Dakota State Senate. MK worked for Governor Bob Kerrey of Nebraska and for U.S. Senator Tom Daschle of South Dakota before we met on Capitol Hill when I was working for U.S. Senator Alan Dixon. MK is my partner in this campaign and in everything in life. We have two wonderful kids, Teddi (15) and Donny (13). Teddi is an athlete and an avid student of social justice, and Donny is a football fanatic and a math whiz.

I have shown independence from the Democratic Party by aggressively trying to change policies and practices that are harmful to Illinois families and by pursuing meaningful legislative reform, even when it means taking on entrenched leaders and systems within my own party. For example, I have spoken out forcefully about corruption within our property tax assessment and appeals processes and introduced the HOME Act to build a more transparent system that serves middle-class and working families instead of lining the pockets of wealthy homeowners and property tax lawyers.

I have also been a vocal critic of Mike Madigan and his political machine, proposing several reforms to build a party that is responsive to voters and running several campaigns, including this gubernatorial campaign, despite his opposition. Reforms I've proposed include supporting a legislative redistricting process run by an independent commission, introducing legislation to impose term limits for leadership positions such as Speaker of the House, and proposing a grassroots process to elect the Democratic Party chair.

During my first term in office, I've proven that I'm nobody that nobody sent. That's why we've been able to shake a corrupt system to its core — because our problems have been bipartisan in the making. Now, we have to finish the job by electing reform-minded legislators in the next election.