Rep. Ives challenges Rauner for Illinois governor - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Rep. Ives challenges Rauner for Illinois governor

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JACKSON COUNTY - One day after filing her bid for Illinois governor, State Representative Jeanne Ives hit the campaign trail in southern Illinois.

The three-term lawmaker from Wheaton, just outside Chicago, introduced herself to Southern Illinoisans at a coffee shop in Murphysboro Tuesday.

"I'm a West Point graduate with an economics degree," said Rep. Ives. "I'm a former Army officer. I'm the wife of a former army officer, West Point graduate and I'm the mother of five children, two of whom are serving in the military."

Ives hopes to appeal to downstate voters, as she challenges Bruce Rauner for the Republican nomination for Illinois governor.

In an extended interview with News 3, the lawmaker insists she's the republican candidate Illinois needs to win next November, and return it to a winning state.

"Illinois can do a lot better with the right leadership," said Ives. "We have a very strong governorship. We happen to have a weak man in office right now."

Ives' "grassroots campaign" focuses on what she calls, "Rauner's lies".

Ives said, "Rauner, doesn't matter how much money he has, he cannot buy back trust after betrayal."

Ives says Rauner betrayed voters by signing House Bill 40, allowing the use of taxpayer money for Medicaid and state employee abortions.

"If you're a republican, he shouldn't win in 2018, he doesn't stand for our values," said Ives.

But she also says what the governor has not done, also makes him a bad choice. She points to his failure to retain and attract business to Illinois.

"They're not opening in Illinois because of our onerous rules, our high property taxes, our work comp system and let's just be honest with people."

Ives also believes pension reform will help get Illinois back on track.

"The biggest thing that we need to do is pension reform. I don't know why it's controversial to folks that every new hire needs a 401k," said Ives.

After Ives filed her paperwork Monday, Gov. Rauner called her a "fringe candidate". She says, he's the one on the fringe with his policies.

Ives said, "Actually, Rauner's the fringe governor, quite frankly. He's the one really extreme. He's not been moderate on anything."

Ives also stresses, she's not a "Chicago politician." She thinks southern Illinois' resources provide another key to growing the state's economy.

"Forty percent of our energy still comes from coal, that's great," said Ives. "I'm a proponent of it. We need to invest in our infrastructure to expand our energy resources."

Ives hopes her focus on tax reform will lead to a campaign victory, one she says, will help all Illinoisans prosper.    

"Southern Illinois is drop-dead gorgeous and we should have that type of opportunity for people to live and have productive lives in this area," said Ives.

As far as financial backing, Ives admits her campaign is grassroots with about $325,000 dollars cash on hand.

Governor Rauner's campaign has raised more than $65 million.

But Ives insists, she believes voters will not care about those numbers when they head to the polls for the primary election in March.

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