January 11, 2018 – State Rep Jeanne Ives, a conservative reform Republican candidate for Governor, overwhelmingly won the Central Committee of the Chicago Republican Party’s straw poll over incumbent Gov Bruce Rauner, 17 to 3 (with 2 abstentions).
In raw numbers the straw poll is of a handfull of Republican leaders in Chicago, but this may show the extent of dissatisfaction that has swept the Republican voters with Gov Rauner since his signing two bills into law last summer that were strongly opposed by the conservative base. One, HB-40, allows for the use of taxpayer funds to pay for abortions. The other, SB-31, is considered by many Republicans to have made Illinois a “sanctuary state” where law enforcement is prohibited from arresting illegal aliens, merely for their being in the state illegally.
That the Governor signed these two bills into law last summer, is a leading reason Rep Ives decided to run against the Governor for the Republican nomination in the March 20 primary.
Republicans in Chicago produce 5% of the Republican primary vote, and 7.5% of the Republican vote in a general election. The number of Republican votes in the city is larger than the number produced by any county except Cook and DuPage.
“Jeanne impressed everyone with her determination to hit the state’s problems head-on. She also showed a command of policy details” said Chris Cleveland, chairman of the Chicago Republican Party. “It’s almost unheard of for a regular Republican organization to fail to endorse an incumbent governor. The people in the room felt that Rauner had betrayed them.”
Ives said, “I am proud to have won the confidence of the Chicago GOP. They are warriors for transparency and small government reforms in a city run almost exclusively by the Chicago Machine. Their bold advocacy will be critical to stoking the revolt, so that we can deliver the conservative reforms Illinoisans were promised in 2014, before Governor Rauner’s wholesale betrayal of the GOP.