A Summary of the Up and Coming 2018 Illinois Governor’s Election
by Alex Perman
With the Illinois Governor’s race on the horizon, strong candidates begin to emerge in opposition to Republican incumbent Bruce Rauner. Though election day will not arrive until November later this year, the primaries for both parties will take place on March 20. This article will give a rundown of who the significant candidates are, what they believe, and where they stand in terms of popular interest.
Incumbent, Bruce Rauner, was born in Chicago and grew up in Deerfield, Illinois. Prior to his election as governor of Illinois, he served as an advisor to Mayor Rahm Emanuel. He ran for the Republican platform during the 2014 governor race and was elected in Jan. 2015. He has been struggling to pass a budget for the past three years because of tensions with state legislature Democrats. He believes workers who work for a unionized company should have a choice of whether or not to join that union. Another issue he believes strongly in is the importance of education. He worked to fund early education and favors vouchers for school choice which allocates money toward non-public schools such as private or religious schools for families.
Jeanne Ives, a conservative Republican and member of the Illinois House of Representatives, is one of the opposing candidates against Rauner in the Republican primary. A recent sizable donation to her campaign has given her a slight opportunity to show her strength in the upcoming race. She also served in the military after attending the West Point. She is strongly pro-life and publicly opposes many of the education bills Rauner had proposed while in office.
J.B. Pritzker is a Democratic candidate who has had an extremely successful investing career coming from a long line of billionaire family members. He is an entrepreneur, philanthropist, and private business owner. He supports the 2nd Amendment, as well as the fight for gun safety. He also believes Medicare should be fully funded and give aid to undocumented immigrants.
Chris Kennedy, a Democrat running for office, is the son of U.S. senator Robert F. Kennedy who was assassinated in 1968. Chris Kennedy also picked Ra Joy, who went through a significant tragedy when his son was murdered in a mugging on the south side of Chicago, to run for Lt. Governor. Both are strong supporters of gun control and mental health care. Kennedy is also a firm supporter of public education from pre-school to college and need-based scholarships in educational justice. In addition, Kennedy celebrates family businesses rather than consolidation and conformity and believes money for infrastructure is good for creating new jobs.
Daniel Biss is another Democratic candidate who is a member of the Illinois Senate. He received his undergraduate degree from Harvard University and his Ph.D. from MIT in mathematics. He also taught has an assistant professor at the University of Chicago. He upholds the pro-choice movement and believes in Medicare for all. Furthermore, he advocates for a progressive tax in Illinois rather than a flat one, meaning that the people of Illinois would be taxed based on their income similar to how taxation is collected in the federal level.
According to a recent poll on the Democratic governor poll from We Ask America, results showed J.B. Pritzker leading the way with roughly 30% of the popular vote and Daniel Biss and Chris Kennedy not far behind with 17% and 11.5% respectively, while more than a third of voters said they were undecided. The Democratic debate was also televised recently, which contributed to the surge of voters sharing their opinions.