2018 Governor's Race

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Last month, the state's voters decided on the Republican and Democratic nominees for governor. But with the primaries behind them, the winners still have to convince those who wanted someone else at the top of the ticket.

Incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner probably thought he didn't need to worry about his only Republican opponent, state Rep. Jeanne Ives, during the primary campaign. In the past, he'd called her a "fringe candidate" and decided to forgo campaigning against her until just a few weeks before election day.

In this Friday Forum, we begin a series of interviews about important Illinois Primary Election races. WNIJ’s Dan Klefstad talked with Northern Illinois University Prof. Scot Schraufnagel, chairman of the Political Science Department, about various statewide and Congressional races. This week, we start with the top of the ballot: the race for Illinois governor.

jb-pritzker.com

Illinois’ two Democratic U.S. senators are taking sides in the primary for governor. 

Sens. Dick Durbin and Tammy Duckworth are both endorsing businessman J.B. Pritzker.

It’s the latest example of Illinois' Democratic establishment lining up behind Pritzker. He's already gotten nods from a variety of different politicians, party organizations, and labor unions.

Another gubernatorial candidate, state Sen. Daniel Biss, says while he admires the senators, Democrats need to decide whether they want to be the "billionaire party," a reference to Pritzker’s wealth.

Democrats hoping to unseat Gov. Bruce Rauner will attend a forum tonight in Chicago at a church on Michigan Avenue.

Anthony Galloway is the director of civic engagement for Equality Illinois. He says it's important to hear what the candidates have already done to help promote LGBTQ rights. 

"So our goal in this activity is to educate our constituents," Galloway said, "as well as educate the candidates on issues of impact within the LGBTQ community."

Gov. Rauner Faces Primary Challenger

Dec 5, 2017
jeanneives.org

State Rep. Jeanne Ives will challenge Gov. Bruce Rauner in next year’s Republican Primary. She cites disagreements with the incumbent on a range of issues.

“Governor Rauner is responsible for the 32 percent tax increase," she said. "He failed to hold Republicans together, and he budgeted for such as well. His proposed budget actually spent more money than the passed budget by the Democrats.”

Ives was referring to this summer’s end of the budget impasse, when more than a dozen Republicans broke with Rauner to help Democrats pass a tax increase.

After months of promising to release their tax returns, two Democratic candidates for Illinois governor released them -- partially.

Chris Kennedy and J.B. Pritzker both released the top pages of their tax returns - but not much else. Kennedy and his wife reported to the IRS that they earned $1.2 million dollars last year. Meanwhile, Pritzker - an heir to the Hyatt Hotel fortune - reported earning almost $15 million with his wife last year, nearly $10 million in 2015, and $3 million in 2014.

State Rep. Ives Will Oppose Rauner In Primary

Oct 30, 2017
jeanneives.org

A state representative from Wheaton has begun circulating petitions in an effort to challenge Gov. Bruce Rauner in next year's Republican primary. 

Jeanne Ives, who has been in the Illinois House since 2013, has been critical of Rauner for signing certain legislation, including a plan that allows public funds to pay for abortions.  She is considered among the legislature’s more conservative members. 

Pawar Drops Out Of Democratic Gubernatorial Race

Oct 12, 2017

Chicago Ald. Ameya Pawar withdrew from the crowded Democratic race for Illinois governor today and announced he is launching a new political action committee.

In an email blast from his campaign office, Pawar noted that his campaign had raised $828,000 from 2,526 donors, but he said he would have to take on more personal debt or cut campaign staff to expand the campaign “to a scope that could earn the nomination.” He decided against either option.

Screenshot from YouTube

Democratic candidate for governor Chris Kennedy's newly announced running mate says he wants to address the "senseless violence" that plagues Illinois and took his son's life earlier this summer.

Kennedy on Thursday introduced Chicago political activist Ra Joy as his lieutenant governor candidate in the 2018 campaign.

Twitter.com/danielbiss

A Democrat running for Illinois governor is in search of a new running mate.

State Sen. Daniel Biss announced that he is dropping Chicago Ald. Carlos Ramirez Rosa from his ticket. They differed on the "B.D.S movement" -- which favors boycotting, divesting, or sanctioning Israel. Biss, who opposes it, says in a statement that Ramirez Rosa recently changed his position.

Biss’s selection of Ramirez Rosa last week prompted north-suburban U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider, R-Deerfield, to withdraw his endorsement of Biss.

Brian Mackey/NPR Illinois

Illinois Republicans are gearing up for Gov. Bruce Rauner’s re-election fight. At a State Fair rally Wednesday, they made clear their campaign will focus on one man.

Rauner and other Republicans have spent years — and millions of dollars — demonizing Michael Madigan, the Democratic speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives. Heading into the 2018 election, they’re hoping to realize a dividend from that investment.

"We cannot give in to Madigan and his Chicago agenda any longer,” said Tim Schneider, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party.

jb-pritzker.com

Illinois Democratic gubernatorial candidate J. B. Pritzker is presenting a formal plan to fight against President Donald Trump’s policies

For example, Pritzker said he supports a bill to keep abortion legal in Illinois if Roe versus Wade is overturned.

"Donald Trump is an egotistical bigot," he said. "Donald Trump is a xenophobe, and he’s a misogynist who cares more about a personal win than about how his policies affect American families."

 

chicago47.org

A Democratic candidate for Illinois governor says he would commute prison sentences for low-level drug offenders.

In a policy speech Tuesday in Chicago’s Bronzeville neighborhood, Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar put a lot of the blame for today’s violence and criminal justice issues on poverty and the war on drugs.

“The war on drugs was a success because the war on drugs was never actually about drugs,” he said. “It was against black people.”

A website that popped up this month asks a question as its URL: arethereanywomenrunningforilgovernor.com.

It then very simply answers it with a bright red "NO." A group of professional women in the state are behind the effort to draw attention to the issue.

Among them is Kady McFadden. She helped create a new website to highlight the lack of women candidates for governor. 

 

Five Democratic candidates for governor gathered Thursday in a small conference room in downtown Chicago to explain their strategies and seek a key endorsement for the 2018 general election.

But recent Democratic losses in five special elections around the country have party committeemen wondering how best to take on Republican incumbent Gov. Bruce Rauner. An endorsement from the Cook County Democratic Party would mean support of some of the most powerful elected officials in the area — plus resources, staff and volunteers.

Illinois Democratic gubernatorial candidate Scott Drury is voicing frustrations with his own party as a key part of his campaign.

Drury is the only Democratic state representative who didn’t vote for Michael Madigan to be House Speaker. He says the state party, which Madigan leads, is about winning at any cost. This, in his opinion, is why his party did not vote to raise the minimum wage when it controlled the governor’s office and had super-majorities in the House and Senate.

ilga.gov

Democratic state Rep. Scott Drury said he's running for Illinois governor.

The former assistant U.S. attorney from the Chicago suburb of Highwood announced his 2018 bid on Tuesday.

In a news release, Drury said he'll be the independent Democrat in the race.

In January, he was the only Democrat not to vote in favor of House Speaker Michael Madigan's election to a 17th term as speaker. Madigan also serves as chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois.

jb-pritzker.com

A Democrat running for Illinois governor in 2018 is calling for the impeachment of President Donald Trump.

J.B. Pritzker said in a statement Wednesday the House of Representatives should begin impeachment proceedings. He says there are "credible reports" that Trump "obstructed justice in the investigation of the Russian hacking of our democracy."

Pritzker was a top supporter of Hillary Clinton, helping raise millions for her unsuccessful campaign against Trump. The Chicago billionaire says calling for impeachment is "not something done lightly" but that it's necessary.

"Money" By Flickr User Pictures of Money / (CC BY 2.0)

A proposal brought by a Democratic gubernatorial candidate to provide taxpayer matching funds for small contributions to political hopefuls has won Illinois Senate approval.

It was the second attempt by state Sen. Daniel Biss for such legislation. The Evanston Democrat failed to win a majority earlier this month.

The plan of SB1424 would match contributions of $25 to $150 with taxpayer money. The match would be six times the amount of the contribution.

Billionaire businessman J.B. Pritzker is launching the first television ads of the Democratic primary campaign for Illinois governor.

Pritzker's campaign released a 60-second ad statewide Tuesday aimed at helping voters get to know the candidate, an heir to the Hyatt hotel fortune who doesn't have the name recognition of some of his rivals, especially outside Chicago.

The ad explains Pritzker's role in starting the Chicago tech incubator called 1871 and his work to support early childhood education.

State Sen. Daniel Biss wants to beat Bruce Rauner in next year’s gubernatorial election. 

However, the Evanston Democrat doesn’t blame all of the state’s problems on the Republican incumbent. At a Champaign event, he said the Democrats who came before Rauner didn't fix what he considers an unfair tax system. 

Governor Bruce Rauner made Rockford one of the stops on his two-day trip across Illinois. He met with a large group made up mainly of his fellow Republican elected officials.

Rauner criticized Democrats in the state Legislature and blamed them for the budget stalemate. He urged them to make Illinois more business-friendly. He told reporters after the event, “I’ll judge myself by how strong the economy in Rockford grows over the next two and six years, while I am governor. And we need a strong economy for everybody in Illinois.”

A Democratic candidate for governor says he wants to help Illinois’ working class, particularly those living downstate.

Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar’s priorities include a so-called “New Deal” for Illinois.  The idea is framed after President Franklin D. Roosevelt’s infrastructure projects that followed the Great Depression.

“I know right here in Peoria, there’s about a billion dollars worth of lock and dam work," he said. "So, we have an opportunity to not only build out our intermodal facilities, but also do ecological and wildlife restoration and lock and dam work.”

Democratic state Sen. Andy Manar says he will remain in the Illinois Senate rather than run for governor in 2018.

In an emailed statement Friday, the Bunker Hill resident says he plans to continue being "a strong voice for the citizens of Central Illinois" in the Legislature.

Manar was among several Democrats who said they were considering running against Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Among those who've announced they're running are state Sen. Daniel Biss, businessman Chris Kennedy and Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar.

flickr user Brett Levin "LEGAL Colorado Marijuana Grow" (CC BY 2.0) / http://bit.ly/1F0o4DW

Illinois' medical marijuana companies, operating in an industry abounding with rules, now have one less regulation they have to follow.

The Chicago Tribune reports that a federal judge ruled last week that a provision preventing cannabis companies from making campaign contributions in Illinois wasn't constitutional. The ruling was in response to a 2015 lawsuit filed by two Libertarian Party candidates who sought contributions from the medical marijuana industry.

Phil Masterton / WNIJ

Cook County Democratic leaders heard from the six candidates thinking of running for governor Monday ahead of a potential endorsement later this year.

Each candidate attacked Governor Bruce Rauner.

Chicago Alderman Ameya Pawar compared Rauner to colonial England - dividing allies to conquer them.

Venture capitalist JB Pritzker said Rauner’s agenda is the Koch Brothers’ agenda.

Chicago Treasurer Kurt Summers had to be asked about Rauner’s shortcomings - and said he hasn’t seen one accomplishment.

Flickr user Daniel Borman / "Money, Money, Money" (CC BY 2.0)

The limits are lifted on spending in next year's Illinois governor's race after Democratic businessman Chris Kennedy put more than $250,000 into his campaign fund.

The move signals another big spending campaign among incumbent Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and Democrats challenging him. Illinois law says standard limits on campaign donations are lifted when a candidate in a statewide race gives themselves more than $250,000.

Illinois campaign disclosure records show Kennedy contributed $250,100 to his Kennedy for Illinois fund on Friday.

Facebook.com

A Democratic State Senator from Evanston is running for governor. Daniel Biss announced live on Facebook today that he is a candidate, then took questions from viewers.

Biss has served in the Illinois legislature since 2011, first in the House and now in the Senate.

He has been an outspoken critic of Republican Governor Bruce Rauner, leading a PAC called “Leading Illinois For Tomorrow.” It paid for millions of dollars in advertising trying to link Rauner with then-candidate Donald Trump in the minds of voters.

jb-pritzker.com

Billionaire businessman J.B. Pritzker has taken the first formal step toward a 2018 challenge to Illinois Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner.

The Democrat says he filed paperwork with the Illinois State Board of Elections on Tuesday to form an exploratory committee. He says he's contributing $200,000 to cover the committee's day-to-day operations.

Pritzker is an investor and philanthropist who has the personal fortune to compete with Rauner's wealth.

www.cheribustos.com

Several months after first being mentioned as a possible candidate for governor of Illinois, Cheri Bustos has decided against it.

The congresswoman from East Moline and the 17th District Monday said she will run for re-election next year instead.

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