JACKSONVILLE - State Senator Sam McCann (R-Jacksonville) got a $50,000 check from Local 150 Electrical Union just before he announced his bid to run for governor as an independent - something McCann threatened to do in 2014, but didn't come to fruition.
Local 150's financial support for McCann raised eyebrows since the Local endorsed J.B. Pritzker in the Democrat primary.
“After discussions with all the candidates in the Democratic race, we believe that J.B. Pritzker will be a tireless advocate for the interests of middle-class workers,” said Local 150 President-Business Manager James M. Sweeney. “We are proud to endorse him in what is shaping up to be the most important election cycle in a generation.”
Still, Local 150 saw it a good thing to use its union members fees to write a check to McCann, who will need to accumulate over 25,000 valid signatures to get on the General Election ballot. McCann says he will run in the state's non-official "Conservative Party."
If McCann is successful in getting on the ballot with enough signatures, his effort will add yet another pro-life choice for social conservatives in November. Kash Jackson of Illinois' Libertarian Party also says he's pro-life.
McCann - who ran as a Republican twice to win his state Senate seat - was lambasted when the announcement was made by Governor Rauner's campaign, giving voters a sample of what's to come in the days ahead. McCann's candidacy would offer unhappy IL GOP social conservatives an alternative to the Rauners, who are facing historically low favorable ratings statewide.
“Sam McCann is the worst kind of political opportunist who is only running for governor to line his own pockets," Rauner campaign spokesman Will Allison said. "McCann’s unethical record speaks for itself: he failed to pay his taxes, racked up massive debts, lied about serving in the Marine Corps, and used his campaign account as a personal piggy bank, even buying himself an SUV. Public service should not be for personal gain and Sam McCann's new ‘campaign’ is just a thinly veiled attempt to profit off of politics.”
Democrat JB Pritzker's response was notably different than the Rauner camp's. After all, Pritzker and cynical Democrats that have no respect for social conservatives viewpoints would be able to retake all those executive branch jobs they lost when Rauner won in 2014.
“I welcome another voice to the race for governor at this critical time for our state,” Pritzker said in a statement. “Bruce Rauner is a failed governor who has done untold damage to communities throughout Illinois, and people from across the political spectrum are ready for change.”
McCann's Springfield area constituents consist heavily of state employees that are opposed to Rauner's efforts to undermine union efforts. Still besides the $50,000 McCann received from Local 150 Electrical Workers the day before his announcement, he received another $55,000 from a carpenters union.