Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) ended all the suspense on Monday, officially announcing she will take on Gov. Bruce Rauner in the 2018 Republican primary.
“I choose taxpaying Illinois families,” Ives said in a video posted to YouTube. “Gov. Rauner chose the political ruling class. That’s the difference. That’s the choice in this election.”
In her announcement before a hometown crowd in Wheaton, Ives hammered home what she sees as the differences between her and Rauner, saying that she learned to live by a code instilled by her parents and “codified by West Point.”
Rep. Jeanne Ives
She added, “I will not lie, steal or cheat, nor tolerate those that do. It’s a simple code, but it represents a revolution in Illinois state government.”
Ives said it also means having to pick sides and being willing to make clear what side of the aisle you stand on.
“In Illinois,state government right now, you choose to be popular with the Illinois political ruling class and become an enemy of Illinois taxpayers or you choose to represent taxpaying Illinois families and make enemies of the political ruling class,” she said.
At one time, Ives said, she was one of Rauner’s biggest supporters, until she came to realize what she now thinks he truly stands for.
“I supported and helped get Bruce Rauner get elected governor in 2014,” she said. “I believed his argument that his personal wealth would free him to do right by Illinois and lead the revolt against the political ruling class. I was wrong. The tough-talking dude on a Harley with no social agenda turned out to an empty Carhartt jacket. We were promised a conservative reform governor. Instead we got an Ivy League gender studies professor.”
Ives has particularly taken exception with the way she said Rauner has too often aligned himself with House Speaker Mike Madigan (D-Chicago).
“Bruce Rauner did not fight Mike Madigan, he signed into law Mike Madigan and the Chicago Democrats holy grails of policy,” she said. “Rauner didn’t turn us around. He sold us out to Mike Madigan and Chicago Democrats.”
Ives ticked off Rauner’s biggest acts of betrayal as his failure to address the state’s rising property taxes, already among the highest in the nation, his signing of taxpayer funding abortion bill HB40 and his support of sanctuary cities.
She vowed to her supporters that she and running-mate Rich Morthland were “going to deliver on the policy revolution Rauner promised before he quit and threw in with the Chicago Democrats.”
Ives added, “everyone wants to be a warrior until it’s time to do what warriors do. Warriors are unrelenting. Warriors advance through pain, through ridicule, through fear and through grief. Always advance.
“I have been afraid. I have been hurt. I have faced moments, both personally and professionally, when my principles seemed more like burdens than badges of honor. But I’ve stood my ground through ridicule and even threats of violence. I have fought through pain, through fear, and through grief,” Ives said.
Ives said all that has helped prepare her to make her run against Rauner.
“We are ready for what lies ahead,” she said. “We will put Illinois on a new path. That is our mission. And we will complete it.”