Ex-CeaseFire Illinois leader Tio Hardiman to run for governor

Ex-CeaseFire Illinois leader Tio Hardiman to run for governor

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CHICAGO (FOX 32 News) -

Tio Hardiman is running for governor. Despite domestic battery charges brought against the former head of CeaseFire Illinois by his wife in May – which were later dropped - Hardiman has high hopes.

Adamantly denying the charges, Hardiman said he would make a comeback after the anti-violence group informed him his contract would not be renewed. His position with CeaseFire expired June 30.

A comeback is exactly what the 50-year-old plans to give the people of Illinois, should he challenge Bill Daley and Gov. Pat Quinn in the Democratic primary.

Hardiman told the Chicago Sun-Times that he's planning to divulge further details at a press conference on Saturday, staged at what he calls the border between the Hispanic community and the inner city – 4350 W. 16th Street. He will file at the Board of Elections on Monday.

He went on to say that this is not a "decision he made overnight," but something that he's been thinking about doing for a long time. Hardiman said he's planning a very positive campaign, with an 11-point plan that includes turning some prisons into rehab centers and institutions for higher learning for non-violent offenders, building a casino in the city of Chicago and ending the pension crisis.

He told FOX 32 News, "I want to be a voice for the voiceless."

The former CeaseFire head was arrested by Hillside police in May, after his 47-year-old wife Alison Hardiman accused him of punching and kicking her. She also filed for divorce. Hardiman previously pleaded guilty to the misdemeanor charge of beating his first wife in 1999.

But she had a change of heart in July, dropping the charge and saying she loved her husband and wanted to work on their marriage. Hardiman told FOX 32 News that his wife fully supports his decision to run.

Although many may think it's too soon for him to run for public office, Hardiman said he feels confident, considering the number of people who stood behind him during this year's legal ordeal. He told the Sun-Times that he does not want "one bad situation to define my entire body of work."

He also confirmed to FOX 32 news that he wants to become the first African-American governor of Illinois and is seeking a female running mate.

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