GOP lawmaker challenges sitting governor
State Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, filed petitions Monday to get on the March 20 primary ballot, taking on Gov. Bruce Rauner, who she believes hasn’t upheld GOP principles.
“We’re just fired up,” Ives told reporters outside the State Board of Elections on the last day of filing for the primary. “Our base is energized.”
She said Rauner has “betrayed our party. And you know what? You cannot buy back trust after a betrayal.”
Monday ended the filing period for the primary. Rauner’s petitions were filed a week earlier, and as of the close of filing, there were seven Democratic candidates for governor. That number could be reduced if petitions submitted by some of them are found to be lacking.
Ives has faulted Rauner for issues including his inability to hold together Republicans to stop a tax increase that was passed this summer over Rauner’s veto.
She has said a key reason people wanted a Republican alternative to Rauner is his signing a bill that allows expanded abortion coverage for people on Medicaid and state employee insurance.
She is also critical of Rauner’s signing of the “Trust Act,” which in general calls on local police not to turn over people illegally in the country to federal authorities without a warrant simply because of their immigration status.
At a formal announcement speech in Wheaton Sunday, Ives had said that while she helped Rauner get elected in 2014, she was wrong about him taking on the “political ruling class.”
“The tough-talking dude on a Harley with no social agenda turned out to be an empty Carhartt jacket,” Ives said in the speech.
“We were promised a conservative reform governor. Instead we got an Ivy League gender studies professor. Benedict Rauner betrayed us at every turn.”
At an appearance in Chicago Monday morning, Rauner told reporters, when asked about Ives, that “You get some fringe elements or whatever coming in,” in such races. He declined to say whether Ives was a fringe candidate, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.
“Hey, we’re happy to debate him on any topic,” Ives said in Springfield when asked about the comment.
At the Chicago event, Rauner directed his ire for state woes at long-time House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago. He was asked there about his assertion that Madigan is “in charge,” and if he as governor has been in charge since taking office in 2015.
“I wish I had,” Rauner said, according to the Chicago Tribune. “We would have had our problems fixed. Illinois would be on a great future. We’d have 20,000 more jobs in the state. We would have lower property taxes in the state. We would have had term limits in the state if I was in charge. I am not in charge. I’m trying to get to be in charge.”
Ives said in Springfield that the governorship in Springfield is “very strong,” and Rauner had signed bills he didn’t need to – such as the “brand new entitlement” for abortion.
“The truth is that he had the ability with his pen to sign significant legislation and/or insert himself in the conversation much earlier to get a different desired effect,” Ives said. “He didn’t do that.”
On the Democratic side, candidates who filed for governor are J.B. Pritzker of Chicago, state Sen. Daniel Biss of Evanston, Chris Kennedy of Kenilworth, Bob Daiber of Marine, Tio Hardiman of Calumet City, Terry Getz of Dupo and Robert Marshall of Burr Ridge.
Also in the governor race, perennial candidate William Kelly of Chicago, who had said he was a Republican gubernatorial candidate, said in a video announcement that he has decided to run as an independent. The filing period for independents for governor is June 18-25, with 25,000 valid signatures needed by independents for that office.
In the race for secretary of state, state Sen. Michael Hasting, D-Tinley Park, filed for secretary of state, as did incumbent Jesse White.
Hastings said in a statement that with rumors that White might have been backing a Chicago alderman for the office, “I wanted to be ready in case his [White’s] intention to run for re-election changed. I have great respect for Secretary White,” he added, but if he “does indeed decide to retire, I am ready to step up and continue his great work.”
Hastings spokesman Ryan Keith said later Hastings will “see how things progress during the petition review period over the next week, talk with Secretary White, and make a decision soon about whether to stay in the race.”
On the Republican side, Jason Helland of Mazon, the Grundy County state’s attorney, filed for secretary of state.
Incumbent Democratic comptroller Susana Mendoza of Chicago filed for re-election, while former state Rep. Darlene Senger of Naperville filed for the Republican nomination.
State Treasurer Michael Frerichs, a Democrat of Champaign, filed for re-election, while Republican Jim Dodge of Orland Park filed to be his party’s candidate.
In the wide-open race for attorney general – with incumbent Democrat Lisa Madigan not seeking another term – two Republicans and eight Democrats filed.
The Republicans are Erika Harold of Urbana – a former Miss America who is also a Harvard Law School graduate – and Gary Grasso of Burr Ridge.
The Democrats are former Gov. Pat Quinn, state Sen. Kwame Raoul, Sharon Fairley, Jesse Ruiz, Renato Mariotti and Aaron Goldstein, all of Chicago. Also among the candidates are state Rep. Scott Drury of Highwood, and Highland Park Mayor Nancy Rotering.