December 5, 2017

Rep. Jeanne Ives formally announces GOP primary challenge to Gov. Bruce Rauner


State Rep. Jeanne Ives made it official. The Wheaton Republican is challenging Gov. Bruce Rauner in the GOP gubernatorial primary in March.

"In Illinois state government right now, you choose to be popular with the Illinois political ruling class and become an enemy of the Illinois taxpayers, or you choose to represent taxpaying Illinois families and make enemies of the political ruling class," Ives said in a video released Monday morning. "I choose taxpaying Illinois families. Gov. Rauner chose the political ruling class."

Calling Rauner's views on social issues "extreme," Ives criticized the first-term governor for his signature on legislation expanding taxpayer funding of abortion, making Illinois a sanctuary state and caving to longtime Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan.

"Bruce Rauner did not fight Mike Madigan. He signed into law Mike Madigan and the Chicago Democrats' holy grails of public policy," Ives said. "Rauner didn't turn us around. He sold us out to Mike Madigan and the Chicago Democrats."

Rauner angered many in his own party when he signed a Democratic-passed measure in late September that allows taxpayer funds to be used for elective abortions through Medicaid and state employees' health insurance. Rauner, who is pro choice, became the first U.S. governor in the country to sign legislation that allows taxpayer funding for elective abortions. The new law is scheduled to take effect Jan. 1.

Ives supported Rauner during his 2014 bid but said she no longer can. Former state Rep. Rich Morthland will be Ives' running mate as a candidate for lieutenant governor.

Rauner or Ives will face the winner of a crowded Democratic primary, which includes billionaire J.B. Pritzker, Chris Kennedy and state Sen. Daniel Biss.