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Incumbent Governor Rauner Forced to Turn Attention to Republican Primary

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Nation’s Most Vulnerable Incumbent Begins Running Ads Against Primary Opponent after Failing to Avoid Serious Challenge

It was never supposed to get this far. Today, news broke that Governor Bruce Rauner will air an attack ad against his primary opponent, State Representative Jeanne Ives. Rauner tops most national lists as the “most vulnerable incumbent” running for reelection, and spent months ignoring Ives in the hope she could not put together a serious primary challenge. For her part, Ives has rung up a string of bad press stores: she’s cancelled a fundraiser with a white supremacist, had to refund a $1,000 donation from a neo-Nazi, and put on air one of the most offensive ads ever

Yet, Rauner now finds himself wasting time and resources running ads in a Republican primary. 

Thanks in part to Rauner’s unpopularity and ineptitude, Ives has kept rolling along. She racked up endorsements from numerous sitting legislators and county parties. She absolutely walloped Rauner in their only debate together. And Ives received $2.5 million from a Midwestern mega-donor that used to be a strong Rauner ally.

Now, she’s got Rauner’s attention.

“Bruce Rauner’s been looking over his shoulder all winter and now he’s officially sounding the alarm,” said DGA Illinois Communications Director Sam Salustro. “Rauner was already suffering from Trumpian-level approval ratings and today’s news that he’ll air attacks against State Rep. Jeanne Ives shows just how weak his position really is. Rauner failed the voters of Illinois, regardless of their party, and now he’s paying the price.”