Illinois Democratic candidate for governor: Tio Hardiman

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Illinois Democratic Gubernatorial candidate Tio Hardiman participated in a forum with the Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board Jan. 17. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

On Jan. 17, Tio Hardiman appeared before the Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board. We asked him why he’s running for the Democratic nomination for Illinois Governor in the March 2018 primary:

I’m Tio Hardiman. Democratic candidate for governor in the state of Illinois. My civic background, basically I’ve sat on a lot of boards here in the state of Illinois. I did a lot of work with the Federal Defender’s Board. I’m the former director of Ceasefire Illinois, a proven public health model that gets results in reducing violence in Chicago. And in regards to my political background, I ran for governor back in 2014 and secured close to 30 percent of the state vote, winning 30 counties downstate.

One of the main priorities of the Hardiman and Avery campaign is to reduce gun violence in Chicago by 50 percent and statewide by 50 percent as well. One of the main causes of our campaign is women’s rights. We plan to make sure that women receive the same pay that men receive, especially if they are doing the same job, working on the same job. That’s something we plan, to really take the bull by the horn and address that issue like never before.

The Chicago Sun-Times sent the candidates seeking the Democratic nomination for Governor a list of questions to find out their views on a range of important issues facing the state of Illinois. Hardiman has not returned a completed questionnaire.

Tio Hardiman

Running for: Democratic nomination for Illinois Governor

Political/civic background: Candidate for governor in 2014. Tio Hardiman secured 28.1 percent of the state vote in 2014, winning 30 counties downstate, and 125,500 votes. Civic work: Bethel New Life, Chicago Alliance for Neighborhood Safety, City of Chicago CAPS Program, and UIC/CeaseFire. During his career, Tio served as a community organizer, community coordinator, Director of CeaseFire Illinois, fundraiser, grant writer, media spokesperson, chairman of various boards, Board Member of the Federal Defenders Program, Project Safe Neighborhood with the U.S. Attorney’s Office, organized over one hundred block clubs, worked with the Chicago Police Department, Illinois State Police, public speaker, communication specialist, recovery home director, promoter, and faith-based leader organizer.

Additionally, Tio created the Violence Interrupters Initiative while serving as Director of CeaseFire Illinois and now the Violence Interrupters are working all across the world. PBS FRONTLINE produced a documentary on Tio’s work The Interrupters. Tio has established relationships with various civic leaders, trauma unit doctors, politicians, world leaders, foundations leaders, celebrities, philanthropist, business owners, and people from all walks of life.

Occupation: Adjunct Professor at Governors State University and North Park University.

Education:Northeastern University, Master’s Degree in Inner City Studies

Campaign website:


Check out our profiles on other candidates in this race:

Daniel Biss

Bob Daiber

Chris Kennedy

Robert Marshall

J.B. Pritzker

Jeanne Ives

Bruce Rauner


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