Aurora mayor kicks off GOP campaign for governor

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WGEM) — Richard Irvin is the latest Republican to announce a campaign for Illinois governor. Aurora’s first black mayor could end up being the frontrunner in a crowded GOP primary with the financial backing of the state’s richest man, Ken Griffin.

Irvin hopes to become Illinois’ first black governor. Of course, Irvin’s announcement was symbolic as he kicked off his campaign on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. He’s an Army veteran and former district attorney who has served as mayor of Aurora since 2017.

While his campaign will likely be aimed more at Republicans in Chicago and surrounding suburbs, Irvin’s running mate Avery Bourne is a Republican state representative who he hopes will help garner support from below. of State. The Morrisonville native was the youngest person to be sworn into the Illinois General Assembly when Bourne first took office in 2015.

“As Richard’s partner, I look forward to righting JB Pritzker’s wrongs by running our state with unilateral authority,” Bourne said. “We will fight to restore parents’ rights and encourage local control because we believe that all Illinois residents and communities should have a seat at the table.”

Both want to cut taxes and clean up corruption in Springfield. Irvin says he’s also engaged in tough-on-crime policies as a former prosecutor. He also specifically noted strong support for the police in his campaign launch video.

“Defunding the police is stupid, dangerous and costs lives,” Irvin said. “And I believe that all lives matter. Every family should be safe.

Irvin claims that crime has gone down in his town because the Aurora Police Department‘s budget has increased and he has hired more officers every year. There have still been more than 150 shootings in Aurora in 2020.

Irvin’s announcement also comes just days after Governor JB Pritzker invested $90 million in his re-election campaign. Irvin was recruited to lead by Ken Griffin and other Republican operatives. Numerous reports have indicated that Griffin is willing to invest millions in campaigns for his statewide slate of candidates.

Irvin focused on his family’s background throughout the campaign launch video, noting that his great-grandfather, Richard Baxter Irvin, was born a slave in Tennessee. The contestant says he has a dream similar to that of his relative who faced challenges at an early age before moving to Illinois to start a new life. Irvin’s dream focuses on what Illinois could be with a growing economy and secure families.

He also acknowledged parental rights in schools and corruption in Springfield, two key areas that many Republicans use as talking points.

“We can overcome the challenges; that’s what I do well,” Irvin said. “But we must dare to dream of an Illinois that is free, prosperous, and proud enough to truly be Lincoln Country again.”

Irvin is now one of five Republican candidates for governor alongside Sen. Darren Bailey, former Sen. Paul Schimpf, businessman Gary Rabine and Jesse Sullivan. Yet many are already wondering if Irvin is a “true Republican.” He voted in several Democratic primaries and previously called Pritzker a good friend who helped Aurora during the pandemic.

Yet Illinois GOP Chairman Don Tracy says Irvin is a Republican, and he invites anyone to join a “stellar field of gubernatorial candidates.”

“I urge all Republicans to adopt Ronald Reagan’s famous 11th Commandment and focus their fire on Governor JB Pritzker,” Tracy said. “I’m confident we’ll have a primary that’s bustling with ideas, backgrounds, and plans for the future, that GOP primary voters will pick the best candidate to defeat Pritzker, and that after the primary, Republicans will unite around our candidate.”

Tracy also told Republicans to ignore lies from Pritzker and the Democratic Governors Association that may attempt to sway the Republican primary. Meanwhile, DGA Executive Director Noam Lee called the Illinois GOP governor’s primary a “clown car” of candidates.

“Expect to see a mad scramble as Irvin tries to rewind his years of praise for Gov. JB Pritzker’s leadership – something we thank the mayor for – as well as a double on his anti- choice as he tries to prove his far – in good faith,” Lee said. “And we’re sure Griffin won’t waste any time filling the other gaping holes in Irvin’s platform as Griffin tries to use Irvin’s campaign as a vehicle to return Illinois to the disastrous days of the Rauner administration.”

Pritzker’s campaign team was also quick to respond to Irvin’s announcement on Monday. Spokeswoman Natalie Edelstein said Illinoisans don’t want the Bruce Rauner years to repeat themselves with mismanagement and policies that are rolling back the state.

“The governor is focused on continuing to lead Illinois in these difficult times, building on its record of paying our bills on time and improving the state’s credit rating, investing in our roads, our bridges and our transportation infrastructure, setting a national standard for climate action that will reduce energy costs and create jobs, and protect a woman’s fundamental right to choose,” Edelstein said.

Black religious leaders in suburban Chicago also released a statement in response to Irvin’s campaign announcement on Martin Luther King Jr. Day. Apostle Carl L. White Jr. of the Southland Ministerial Health Network said stated that it is contrary to everything King taught to use the day to advance an agenda ignoring the “plight of the less fortunate”.

“A platform that makes no mention of fair and equitable housing and lending practices, providing living wages, ending health care disparities, preventing voter suppression, and working for real peace, n It’s not a platform that Dr. King would endorse,” White said. “It’s a shame to attempt to select one’s legacy to fit a narrative, and we won’t tolerate it.”

Several of the Republican gubernatorial candidates also criticized Irvin’s campaign. But Bailey drew a Democratic ballot in the 2008 primary election, and Sullivan worked as a campaign volunteer for Colleen Callahan, a former Democratic candidate for the 18th congressional district against former Rep. Aaron Schock.

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