Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin announced his candidacy for governor of Illinois on Jan. 17, joining a slew of Republicans hoping to challenge Democratic Gov. J.B. Pritzker in November, NBC Chicago reported.
Irvin, a Black Republican and the first Black mayor of the second-largest city in the state, made his announcement during the federal observance for Martin Luther King Jr. Day.
He is an Army veteran and was both a prosecutor in Cook and Kane counties before opening a private law practice, according to a biography on the city of Aurora's website.
The mayor has chosen state Rep. Avery Bourne, a Republican from Morrisonville, as his running mate for lieutenant governor. Irvin is facing at least eight other people in the GOP primary.
When it comes to LGBTQ+ issues, Irvin has been behind the community, at least in recent years. In 2018, when Indivisible Aurora came up with the idea of a Pride parade in that Chicago suburb, Irvin urged officials to approve the parade permit, even referencing King, The Chicago Tribune reported. And during a June city council meeting, Irvin presented a proclamation to parade organizers, declaring Pride Month in Aurora and specifically singling out the LGBTQ+ parade.
However, Personal PAC CEO Terry Cosgrove, in a statement, noted what he said are the anti-abortion stances of Irvin and Bourne, saying, ""Richard Irvin and Avery Bourne present a clear threat to the progress we've made in Illinois to enshrine reproductive rights into law and protect the fundamental right to choose. Their extreme positions on reproductive decision-making would take Illinois back decadesto a time of dirty and deadly back-alley abortions. We will not allow Republican extremists to make Illinois a more dangerous state for women."
Last month, WGN noted that billionaire Ken Griffin and multiple elected Republican officials would reportedly back Irvin and endorse him over the rest of the other GOP candidates.