Ives mounts challenge to Rauner in Republican gubernatorial primary
After weeks of speculation, State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) has decided to take a concrete step towards challenging incumbent Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.
Ives stopped short of announcing her candidacy but said she will circulate petitions in pursuit of the required signatures to appear on the March 20 primary ballot while she continues contemplating the decision to run.
"Today my team and I are taking the first step toward restoring common sense in Illinois," Ives said. "I have started circulating petitions to get on the ballot as governor of Illinois."
Ives’ announcement comes in the wake of withering support of Rauner, who has lost a growing list of allies in the conservative community after signing into law HB40, which forces Illinois taxpayers to fund abortions during all nine months of pregnancy. Rauner had earlier said he would veto the bill, and his reversal led to an open revolt within the Illinois Republican Party leading many local party organizations to withdraw invitation by Rauner to speak and refuse to circulate his petitions.
“There is little trust between most Illinoisans and their government at many levels — and for good reasons,“ Ives said. “Top political leaders have lied to the people about who they are and what they are going to do, and they continue to make promises we cannot keep.”
In addition, Rauner has been roundly criticized for signing a so called "sanctuary state" bill that limits cooperation between the state and federal authorities in matters involving the deportation of illegal immigrants, signing legislation that allows persons to change their listed gender on their birth certificates and for authorizing a 15 percent premium increase on Obamacare silver health insurance plans in order to prop up Medicaid expansion under Obamacare.
As a member of the General Assembly, Ives has focused much of her efforts on government transparency.
“Public corruption is an everyday event across the state," she said. "Many Illinoisans have simply decided to leave for better opportunities elsewhere."
Ives’ tenure has also been marked by her pursuit of tax reform, term limits and school choice.
Rock Island-based former state representative and community college Prof. Rich Morthland will be Ives' running mate.
“Rich and I know, however, that if you change out the politicians and tell people the truth, then the reform can begin,” Ives said. “And Illinois can recover. Our promise to you is to be honest about the problems we face and the path we must take to make Illinois a place where businesses and families can thrive. We will confront and expose public corruption at every level of government until it stops.”
Ives, the mother of five, is a West Point graduate and former Army officer who has represented the 42nd House District since 2013. She formerly served on the Wheaton City Council and was an ROTC instructor at Wheaton College.
Chicago GOP Chairman Chris Cleveland will serve as the chairman of the Ives for Illinois campaign.
Candidates for state office in Illinois must file their candidacy paperwork by December 4.
Update (10/31/17, 9:47pm CST) The original link to the petition and petition instructions was updated to a newer version.