Chris Kennedy to run for Illinois Governor

Chris Kennedy to run for Illinois Governor
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Chris Kennedy to run for Illinois Governor

Christopher G. Kennedy, the son of the late U.S. Attorney Robert F. Kennedy and a long time Chicagoland businessman, announce this week he will run for governor of Illinois. Kennedy’s campaign is being advised by a Palestinian American  political consultant, Hanah Jubeh.

By Ray Hanania

The Kennedy’s are an American dynasty and when one of them enters politics, it is a big deal.

Christopher G. Kennedy, the son of the late U.S. Attorney General Robert F. Kennedy and nephew of President John F. Kennedy, announced Wednesday (Feb. 8, 2017) that he will seek the Democratic Party nomination for Illinois Governor.

The announcement resulted in a massive sigh of relief in the predominantly Democratic State that has been struggling under the wobbly administration of Republican Governor Bruce Rauner amid the ruins of his predecessors former governors Rod Blagojevich and Pat Quinn.

Many Democrats feared that Rauner would win re-election in November 2018 if faced by Quinn, who has been self-promoting himself as a second-chance challenger. Rauner soundly defeated Quinn in November 2014 in a 50 to 46 percent rout.

The Democratic Party primary election will be in March 2018, and the General Election will be held in November 2018. Quinn is expected to seek re-election in the Democratic Primary in March 2018.

One of Kennedy’s chief advisers is Hanah Jubeh, a Palestinian American political consultant with extensive experience in government and political activism.

Christopher G. Kennedy, announces his candidacy for Governor of Illinois, Feb. 8, 2017.

Christopher G. Kennedy, announces his candidacy for Governor of Illinois, Feb. 8, 2017.

Jubeh’s bio from her website offers:

At just 22 years old, P2 Founder & CEO Hanah Jubeh began her career in the political area as chief of staff to an alderman. In the nearly two decades since, Hanah’s unique skill set has been in demand on the local, state, federal and international level. 

Hanah founded P2 because she saw the need for a different type of consulting firm, one that was wholly responsive to the needs of its clients. Her “all-in” philosophy has earned her a reputation as a trusted advisor and fiercely effective strategist. In September 2015, Crain’s Chicago Business named her one of the “Most Powerful Political Insiders” in Illinois. 

She has managed dozens of political campaigns at the municipal, county, state and federal levels. In 2011, Hanah was appointed by Governor Quinn to serve a second term to the Illinois Department of Employment Security.  She has served on the Chicago 2016 Olympic Committee and currently is a board member of the Illinois Women’s Institute for Leadership and Chair of the IWIL Fundraising Committee. 

Democratic political consultant Hanah Jubeh (from her Facebook Page)

Democratic political consultant Hanah Jubeh (from her Facebook Page)

Rauner won’t be an easy incumbent to unseat despite his rocky record in office and his failure to bring reforms that were the basis of his election campaign in 2014. Many hoped that Rauner’s extensive business experience would give him the ability to rail in Illinois’ downward spiraling economy. Illinois has the unique distinction of being ranked the worst run state in the nation. Click to read more info.

Christopher George Kennedy was born on July 4, 1963 and was only four years old when his father, who was running for President, was assassinated by Sirhan Sirhan, a Palestinian immigrant angry with RFK’s Middle East policies.

Today, Kennedy is a Chicago businessman and chairman of Joseph P. Kennedy Enterprises, Inc. Kennedy formerly served as Board of Trustees chairman for the University of Illinois from 2009-2015. Until April 2012, he was also president of Merchandise Mart Properties, a commercial-property management firm based in Chicago.

Kennedy plans to tackle Rauner’s failures as well as try to rebuild the state’s dire economy. He described his efforts in an email i received this morning:

Today I will file my formal paperwork to the State Board of Elections, launching my campaign for Governor of Illinois.

What once made our country different from any place on earth was the notion that anyone could make it here – that America was the land of opportunity. But today, if you’re born poor in America, you will almost certainly stay poor. The American Dream is slipping away and it’s up to us to keep this fundamental promise 

I love this state, and I’m running for governor because we can do better. Together we can restore the American Dream in Illinois in a single generation. Watch the video below to learn more, then share it with your friends and family to encourage them to join our campaign. 

We have a tough task ahead: taking on a governor who has put Illinois in the worst shape it’s been since I moved here thirty years ago. I feel called to serve at this moment because I know we can do better. Through my previous work at The Merchandise Mart, through Top Box Foods, the nonprofit hunger relief organization I co-founded with my wife Sheila, and through my involvement in dozens of civic and service organizations, I have brought people together to solve complicated problems for a common good. 

Compromise is not surrender. We can fix the immediate budget crisis facing our state. If we are willing to work together, mothers and babies will have early access to health care and nutrition. Early childhood education for all Illinoisans can be a priority again, and K-12 education can be paid for at the state level so every child in our state receives an equal, quality education. I want to give everyone access to higher education or trade school, and prepare the next generation of Illinoisans to be productive members of a healthy economy. If we can put stubbornness aside, we can act on a shared vision for making Illinois a place where everyone can succeed.

We can restore the future and keep the promise of this state. Let’s get to work.

Thank you for joining me on the journey ahead, 


Click to view Kennedy’s Facebook Page.

Kennedy was born in Boston, Massachusetts.He has 10 brothers and sisters and is the 8th youngest child of Robert and Ethel. He is one of four grandchildren of Joseph P. Kennedy, Sr. and Rose Fitzgerald Kennedy born during the administration of his uncle, U.S. President John F. Kennedy.

You can view Kennedy’s announcement on YouTube by clicking here or using the widget below:

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Managing Writer at The Arab Daily News
RAY HANANIA — Columnist

Ray Hanania is an award winning political and humor columnist who analyzes American and Middle East politics, and life in general. He is an author of several books.

"I write about three topics, the Middle East, politics and life in general. I often take my life experiences and offer them in an entertaining way to readers, and I take on the toughest topics like the Israel-Palestine conflict and don't pull any punches about what I feel is fair. But, my priority is always about writing the good story."

Hanania covered Chicago Politics and Chicago City Hall from 1976 through 1992. Hanania began writing in 1975 when he published The Middle Eastern Voice newspaper in Chicago (1975-1977). He later published “The National Arab American Times” newspaper which was distributed through 12,500 Middle East food stores in 48 American States (2004-2007).

Hanania writes weekly columns on Middle East and American Arab issues for the Arab News in Saudi Arabia at, and at, and at He has also published weekly columns in the Jerusalem Post newspaper,, Newsday Newspaper in New York, the Orlando Sentinel Newspapers, and the Arlington Heights Daily Herald.

Palestinian, American Arab and Christian, Hanania’s parents originate from Jerusalem and Bethlehem.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media. In 2009, Hanania received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. He is the recipient of the MT Mehdi Courage in Journalism Award. He was honored for his writing skills with two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild. In 1990, Hanania was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times editors for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

His writings have also been honored by two national Awards from ADC for his writing, and from the National Arab American Journalists Association.

The managing editor of Suburban Chicagoland Online News website, Hanania's columns also appear in the Southwest News Newspaper Group of 8 newspapers.

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