Rauner pledges to unite Republicans after defeating Ives in Republican primary

By John Dempsey, WLS-AM News

(CHICAGO)  Illinois Republican Governor Bruce Rauner is pledging to unite the fractured Republican party after winning his bitter primary battle with conservative State Representative Jeanne Ives.

Rauner beat Ives by less than 20,000 votes, 51 to 48 percent, in a race that she started because of anger over Rauner’s decision to sign a law allowing for taxpayer funded abortions.

Wednesday morning, Rauner told “The Big John and Ramblin’ Ray Show”  on WLS that he will start a listening tour to get input from Illinois voters.

“On the issues that have divided us, I want to find ways to bridge the divide.  To come together, to come up with solutions that bridge the divide.   We can do this, and we’ll work together in good faith.”

Rauner will face Democrat J.B. Pritzker in November, after Pritzker defeated five challengers in the Democratic primary.   Pritzker is expected to try and tie Rauner to the policies of Republican President Donald Trump, but Rauner, who has gone to great pains to distance himself from the President, told WLS that strategy won’t work.

“People know that I’m my own person”, said Rauner.  “I work with the Trump administration to help the people of Illinois just like I work with the Obama administration to help the people of Illinois.   I am my own person.  I make my own decisions.   And all I care about is workin’ for the families of our state.”


Pritzker was out early Wednesday morning thanking voters at the 95th Street Red Line stop on the South Side.   He told reporters Rauner has had his chance to govern the state, and has failed.

“Illinois has an important job in the next eight months and that’s to decide which direction it wants to go”, said Pritzker.  “Down the road of the failed policies of Bruce Rauner, or on the road toward recovery and job creation and lowering the cost of health care, and making sure that every child gets a quality education.  That’s what this campaign is gonna be all about and we’re gonna make sure people know it.”

However Rauner told WLS that Pritzker has connections to what he says is corruption in the state Democratic party.

“Pritzker is part of the machine.  He’s part of the corruption in Illinois, he’s a tax dodger, a tax cheat, he tried to buy the Senate seat from Blagojevich, the truth is comin’ out on Pritzker and when the truth is known for the people of Illinois, they’ll choose Rauner and Sanguinetti, and they’ll choose reform so we can have a better future.”

@ 2018 WLS-AM News