CHICAGO - In a move that is sure to provoke wrath from the Illinois Republican Party establishment, several influential GOP conservative elected officials stepped forward to publicly support State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) in her bid to oust incumbent Governor Bruce Rauner in the March 20th primary.
State Representatives Tom Morrison (R-Palatine), Peter Breen (R-Lombard), Margo McDermed (R-Frankfort), and Allen Skillicorn (R-East Dundee), along with Cook County Board of Review Commissioner Dan Patlak, Naperville Township Commissioner Warren Dixon, and Wheatland Township Trustee Raquel Mitchell joined Ives in a press conference to announce their support for the GOP challenger.
The party base is very unhappy with Governor Rauner's first term performance, the endorsers agreed.
"We're talking with Republican voters that - if they know the issues and know what has happened in Springfield - they want new leadership. They want a new standard bearer for our party," Morrison said at the press conference.
Morrison, who went out on a limb in 2014 to back Rauner, said he's disappointed with Governor Rauner.
"When most of the people hear what this governor has done on our issues, they're immediately turned off," Morrison said.
Saying his House colleague Ives has integrity, a high work ethic and the respect of House members on both sides of the aisle, Morrison declared his support for Ives in the primary.
State Sens. Kyle McCarter (R-Vandalia) and Tim Bivins (R-Dixon), along with State Representatives David McSweeney (R-Cary) and Barb Wheeler (R-Crystal Lake) also pledged their support for Ives.
Ives adds the support of her legislative colleagues to a growing list, including Northwest Side GOP Club, Wheatland Township Republican Organization, Fremont Township Republican Organization, Republican Organization of Wheeling Township, Chicago GOP, Batavia Township Republican Organization, Wauconda Township Republican Organization, Republican Assembly of Lake County, and Tax Accountability (Taxpayers United of America).
“It is unprecedented to have legislators in open revolt against a governor from their party," Ives said. “The story here is not just my colleagues who are willing to stand with me, but the dozens and dozens more who are with me, but who don't want to go against the Governor publicly because they have their own elections and other considerations.
"The numbers of legislators endorsing me combined with those who are sitting out the primary is clear and convincing evidence that Governor Rauner has lost the Republican caucuses in both chambers. As more evidence of this fact," she said, "we do have the House Republican Floor Leader here in Rep. Peter Breen."
“We are unified. We all supported Rauner. We all gave him a chance to lead. We all supported the broad strokes of his policy agenda," she said.
“But we quickly learned his words were just words. We learned he didn't want to do the work, both in terms of policy homework and coalition-building. We learned he was content to play press release politics, just like his wine-club buddy, Rahm. And then the betrayals came, one after the other.
“Across the state, Republicans know that the revolution they were promised in 2014 will not be delivered by Bruce Rauner. We are going to come together and defeat Bruce Rauner. Then, with the help of those with me today, we will deliver the revolution Illinoisans were promised in 2014."