Governor Bruce Rauner has begun airing TV ads attacking his Republican primary opponent — state Representative Jeanne Ives. This is a departure from his previous campaign strategy.
Until now, Rauner has dismissed the Wheaton Republican as a “fringe candidate.”
But his new ad attacks Ives for saying she’s occasionally been able to work across the aisle — with Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan. The ad attempts to link Ives to Madigan: "Now, she’s criticizing Bruce Rauner for calling Mike Madigan a crook. Brags about Madigan voting for her bills and complains Rauner is, quote, picking on Madigan."
And ends with: "Jeanne Ives. Might just be Mike Madigan’s favorite Republican, and Illinois’ worst nightmare."
Asked if the ad was an acknowledgment of Ives as a serious opponent, the governor would only say that "she filed the petitions to be a candidate, and she’s in the mix."
Before this, Rauner has focused his attack ads on J.B. Pritzker, one of the six Democrats running for governor. Ives has drawn criticism for one of her own ads, which touches on issues like abortion and the transgender bathroom controversy.
She has received $2.5 million from conservative businessman Dick Uihlein, who used to be aligned with Rauner. The governor would only say Uhelin’s switch is “part of the process."