Meet the Crackpot Republican Bigot Shaking Up the Illinois Governor's Race


Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner, who is running for reelection, is either a major disappointment or an outright disaster for his state, depending on who you ask. But based on the past 72 hours, Rauner is nothing compared to one of his Republican primary challengers, Jeanne Ives.

On Friday, Ives—a Chicago-area state representative—released a campaign ad that managed to be transphobic, sexist, and racist all in just one minute.

The ad has (understandably!) been condemned by both Republicans and Democrats alike; the state GOP chair called it a “cowardly attempt to stoke political division.

Ives, a Chicago-area state representative, is a longshot candidate, but she’s picked up overwhelming endorsements from several key local Republican branches, suggesting that parts of the Illinois GOP are undergoing the same Trump-era radicalization as the national party. Tellingly, some officials within the Illinois GOP have defended Ives.

“In an age of ambiguity in politics, it’s a clear, unambiguous message about what Rauner stands for,” Republican state central committee member John McGlasson said in an Ives campaign statement. “Everything in the video is correct.”

But that’s not all. Shortly after premiering the spot, Ives’ official Twitter account retweeted the support of a virulent anti-Semite and Holocaust denier who boasted of donating $1,000 to the campaign.

Ives has since removed the retweet. On Sunday, she blamed a “staffer” for the error.

Ives has refused to pull the controversial spot, and, according to Politico, has committed $1 million for both it and a second ad touting her conservative bona fides throughout February.

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