City Treasurer Kurt Summers exploring run for governor

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City of Chicago Treasurer Kurt Summers

Crusader staff report

Summers joined five candidates at a forum on Monday, March 28 hosted by the Cook County Democratic Party in River North. If he runs for governor, Summers’ will go against frontrunners Chris Kennedy and billionaire businessman J.B. Pritzer. Kennedy is the son of the late Robert F. Kennedy. Other candidates in the race are Alderman Ameya Pawar (47th), State Senator Daniel Bliss (D-Evanston), and Alderman Nicholas Sposator (38th).

With a budget crisis still plaguing the state, the candidates aim to unseat Governor Bruce Rauner, who is up for reelection in 2018. The six candidates appeared at the forum as Democrats prepare to endorse a candidate in August. According to the widely-read website Politico, a top aide to Summers says he has met with possible donars and potential staff as he mulls a bid.

A South Side native, Summers for some has generated talk of a possible run of governor. Many consider Summers weakest link is his ties to Mayor Rahm Emanuel. But lately, Summers has been making efforts to distant himself from the mayor. He recently proposed using $57 million in surplus revenue he says his office generated to stop the bloodshed on Chicago streets. Called the “Fund 77” representing the city’s diverse neighborhoods, Summers wants to use the money to create jobs in gang infested neighborhoods with high poverty and unemployment rates.

“If we’re serious, we need to invest, and we need to do it now,” Summers said in one news report. “If we don’t invest here, no one will.”

Summers graduated from Whitney Young Magnet School. A Harvard MBA graduate, Summers is a former chief of staff to Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle, Summers once served as senior vice president at Grosvenor Capital Management, one of the world’s largest asset management firms with $45 billion in assets, according to the firm’s website. He currently manages the city’s cash and investment portfolio.

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