CARLINVILLE - Although no official statement has come from State Senator Sam McCann, rumors persist that the Carlinville Republican is seriously considering a third-party run for governor of Illinois.
While still possible to get on the ballot, McCann would need to gather at least 25,000 petition signatures by June 23rd - the last day independents or new party candidates can turn in petitions to the Illinois State Board of Elections (ISBE).
On top of that, anyone that circulated petitions for primary gubernatorial candidates of either party cannot circulate for an independent party candidate.
McCann is not independently wealthy. As of Friday he holds about $29,000 in his senate campaign coffers - making it difficult to threaten wealthy businessman Bruce Rauner or union-supported Pat Quinn.
Some are outraged that the buzz about McCann is even out there. Americans for Prosperity Illinois' executive director David From is unhappy about McCann's reported openness to a 5 percent tax hike during the last days of the session.
From has heard, like others, that McCann is in talks with the Illinois Education Association and the Illinois Medical Society for possible campaign support.
“Illinois’ leaders, whoever they may be, need to stop toeing the line of the IEA and other government unions who, unfortunately, have greatly contributed to the fiscal mess the state finds itself in. As we did in the recent legislative primaries, AFP will engage in aggressive issue advocacy efforts to highlight the the failed policies promoted by the IEA and ask all candidates to disavow those policies.
"We were particularly disturbed a few weeks ago when the income tax hike was being debated that Sen. McCann was reportedly open to maintaining a 5% tax rate. AFP- Illinois will continue to aggressively show why policymakers need to support pro-growth policies, like lower taxes on income."
Illinois Review reached out to several lawmakers and political activists. None were willing to go on record, although they were aware the McCann situation is in discussion.