Ives' controversial campaign ad met with condemnation - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Ives' controversial campaign ad met with condemnation

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WSIL/AP -- A new ad from Republican gubernatorial hopeful Jeanne Ives sparked immediate controversy and condemnation after its release on Friday.

The ad features actors portraying a transgender woman and an African-American union member, among others, all thanking Rauner for his policies. The transgender woman is deep-voiced and wears a dress that shows chest hair.

The Ives campaign says the ad represents Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner's "chosen constituents."

"The ad represents Governor Rauner's chosen constituents based on the policy choices he made, as well as a fair and accurate representation of the implications of those policy choices. Governor Rauner's record was similarly covered by both National Review and Fox News, as highlighted in the ad," the campaign said. "Those Republican primary voters who don't know of Rauner's betrayals of conservatives need to know.  Now they will."

As soon as the ad became public, politicians and community leaders condemned it. 

"It scares me that anyone would talk like this -- but it's unthinkable coming from an elected leader and candidate for governor," tweeted Democratic candidate for governor, Daniel Biss.

The chairman of the Illinois Republican Party says a GOP governor candidate should stop airing a campaign ad that critics have called racist and homophobic.

Tim Schneider said in a release Saturday that conservative state Rep. Jeanne Ives should "immediately apologize to the Illinoisans who were negatively portrayed in a cowardly attempt to stoke political division." He says there's no room in the Illinois GOP "for rhetoric that attacks our fellow Illinoisans based on their race, gender or humanity."

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