PONTIAC, Ill.-- State Treasurer Dan Rutherford is the first to officially enter the race for governor.
On Sunday friends, family and fans showed their support as he announced the news in his hometown of Pontiac.
Rutherford says he wants to turn Illinois into a place everyone can be proud of, and that starts with pension reform.
He said, "Until that's fixed [it] doesn't matter what else you do. You can't cut enough budgets you can't close prisons and you can't fund schools enough to be able to deal with it and I think this is the ultimate issue."
Rutherford says he's ready to make the tough decisions unlike current state leaders."Look at what just happened. They didn't get it done. If they were in school they would've gotten an F. They failed."
He says he is going to use the skills he's acquired as a private sector businessman to run the enterprise of Illinois."One thing I learned when negotiating contracts is that you can't agree to one piece and just hope the rest comes along. And I think that's what's happened too many times here in our Illinois government. They just went and raised the income tax. All they did was raise money... They didn't fix the problem!"
The 58-year-old isn't the only Republican interested in the 2014 governorship.
State Senators Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard and venture capitalist Bruce Rauner are also pondering entering the race.
Rutherford's announcement tour stops in Peoria on Tuesday.