WGN`s exclusive interview with candidate Chris Kennedy

In a contest that has focused a lot on Governor Rauner and the state’s budget, Chris Kennedy is trying to change the subject.

The 54-year-old businessman is getting personal about gun violence. He told WGN News today his personal pain has given him a unique perspective that he wants to take to the Illinois governor’s mansion.

Chris Kennedy spent his childhood coping with his father death but also the murder of his uncle President John F. Kennedy.

“We would watch TV and watch the news every night it would just appear on screen on news broadcast or part of a movie screen,” he says. “That was always very disturbing. It would rattle us.”

From a wealthy family, Kennedy had resources to help him deal with the family tragedies, but he worries about all the children of Chicago's gun violence who do not.

“ Today, it's different in Chicago and elsewhere where you have thousands of those events occurring every year and way too many people being injured physically and mentally and mostly emotionally. I'd say that the bullet that kills the father wounds the child. … We have entire communities deal with PTSD and other issues. … Now we know how to fix now we know how to heal, now we know how to help and yet we don't help, we don't heal. We don't fix because we don't spend the money to do so.”

Kennedy is following in his father's footsteps in seeking public office. He's one of eight Democrats vying for Illinois governor.

The wealthy businessman wants the race to focus more on Chicago's gun violence crisis. He's calling on Mayor Emanuel to do more for families.

Tomorrow, at speech on the city’s South Side, Kennedy plans to discuss more of his ideas to combat gun violence.

Kennedy says he wants greater focus on community policing. The Emanuel Administration has talked about that a lot. Kennedy also says if elected governor, he will lobby Washington to tougher gun laws.

J.B. Prtizker and Dan Biss outraised him in the second quarter. When asked if he worried about keeping up with the billionaire Pritzker, Kennedy said J.B. should be worried about him,