Sounding a call to "break with the past" of corrupt Illinois government, DuPage County Board Chairman Robert Schillerstrom officially announced his campaign for governor on Sunday.
Several of the county's top GOP officials and dozens of campaign volunteers wearing "Bob for Illinois" T-shirts joined Schillerstrom at a rally inside the Hotel Arista in Naperville for the highly choreographed kickoff for the state's top elected post.
"We're here today because Illinois government is broken," Schillerstrom told the crowd. "We are the laughingstock of the nation."
Schillerstrom continually alluded to the recent impeachment of Rod Blagojevich and efforts by Gov. Patrick Quinn to pass a state income tax increase, and touted his own decade-long experience in running the state's second-largest county.
"Illinois is just not working," he said. "The leadership has failed to do their job. We're paying the price for that. With all of these problems, our government is paralyzed."
Perhaps taking a tip from Barack Obama's campaign playbook, Schillerstrom noted that he would step up efforts to use technology to reach more voters. Campaign officials streamed live video of Sunday's announcement on Schillerstrom's Web site, bobforillinois.com.
During the next two days, Schillerstrom plans to make several campaign stops throughout the state, including Peoria, the Quad Cities and Springfield.
With Sunday's announcement, Schillerstrom joins an increasingly crowded GOP field vying for governor in 2010.
Hinsdale Republican state Sen. Kirk Dillard, a former chairman of the county GOP, has said he would announce his own candidacy on July 8. State Sen. Matt Murphy of Palatine entered the race earlier this month along with conservative pundit Dan Proft of Wheaton.
Bloomington state Sen. Bill Brady has been campaigning since he came in third in the 2006 GOP primary. Other candidates include Hinsdale resident Adam Andrzejewski.