CHICAGO (CBS) — With lawmakers returning to Springfield this week, Gov. Rauner is outlining his legislative priorities.
However, as CBS 2’s Derrick Blakley reports, the governor’s biggest hurdle may be uniting Illinois Republicans as he takes on Democrat JB Pritzker in November.
On Monday, Rauner said he has summoned the four legislative leaders to his office for a meeting on Thursday to discuss a balanced budget without a tax increase.
Even more taxing: repairing the deep rift with State Rep. Jeanne Ives, who came within 20,000 votes of beating Rauner in the primary.
“We called her office, right after the primary,” Rauner said. “We were told at the time, she didn’t not have an interest in speaking with me or meeting with me at this point. That’s the current status.”
Instead of uniting his base, Rauner says, he is more interested in leading a kind of non-partisan crusade.
“What we need is the support of everyone in the state,” he said. “We need everyone to come together to push back against the corruption and failure of the existing regime that’s controlled our state.”
Speaking later at the City Club of Chicago, Senate Minority Leader Bill Brady said the most powerful agent for Republican unity will be Pritzker.
“That’s the simple election question,” Brady said. “If you think we can grow our state by raising the tax burden on families and businesses, vote for JB Pritzker. He clearly supports that.”
However, Republicans are taking a big chance if they believe their most powerful force for victory is that the opponent is so distasteful.
Many Democrats assumed the same thing two years ago, when Donald Trump won the White House.