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Day 7: Rauner’s Latest Failure – Reuniting His Party

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GOP Members Keeping Their Distance from Rauner, Local Activists Talking Third Party

One week ago, over 48% of Republican primary voters rejected Governor Bruce Rauner and voted to replace him on the ballot. Rauner’s embarrassing “win” showed just how extraordinarily weak and vulnerable the incumbent governor is, and how far he has to go to reunite the Republican Party.
One week later, Rauner’s reunion tour is not going well. State Representative Jeanne Ives still will neither endorse nor speak with the Governor, and many Ives’ supporters are not falling in line:

  • State Rep. Allen Skillicorn: “State Rep. Allen Skillicorn said he wouldn’t support Rauner.  ‘Absolutely not,’ he said. ‘His campaign was dishonest and dishonorable.’”
  • State Rep. Steve Reick: “He should be humbled – he should’ve lost. Honor? Calling Jeanne Ives ‘Madigan’s favorite Republican’ may have swayed enough people to put him over the top, but the smell it leaves behind is the smell of mendacity, and it will carry through to November.”
  • State Rep. David McSweeney: “The question at this point is whether Bruce Rauner wants conservative support. That really is a question. Obviously, he did a number of things, including the tax hike, the SB31 – the immigration bill, sanctuary state bill. And also, the taxpayer funding for abortion, HB40, that angered conservatives. And it’s really unclear at this point if he wants conservative support. He’s going to have to ask for conservative support. He’s going to have to acknowledge some mistakes and just focus on going forward.”
  • Saline County precinct committeeman Sandra Smith: “For Smith, this fall will almost be a moment of protest. ‘I choose to stand up for those conservative values,’ she said, adding that she may have to find alternatives for her vote … ‘I don’t see reconciliation in any form or fashion (for the party) because this is the breaking point … I personally don’t know that I will vote for Rauner,’ Smith said.”
  • Patti Howard, president of the Williamson County Republican Women of Southern Illinois: “‘It’s going to be harder to bring everyone back together’ … Howard said Republicans this fall will be faced with a series of questions. ‘Am I going to go with the party even if I don’t agree with the man, or am I going to sit out and not vote or am I going to go with a third party?’ she said.”

“After Bruce Rauner lied to and betrayed Republicans, it’s no surprise that they are unwilling to embrace him again,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Republicans made clear that Rauner failed them, and his refusal to reach out to Jeanne Ives and her supporters is just making a bad situation worse.”