Parallels to Salvi upset in Ives quest
Former Illinois state Rep. Al Salvi sees the same path to victory for state Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) in her Republican primary run against Gov. Bruce Rauner that he took in his upset win during his run for the U.S. Senate more than two decades ago.
Salvi, recently endorsed Ives, mentioning an Ives campaign mailer that featured a check written by Bruce and Diana Rauner to Planned Parenthood of Illinois.
"The most brutally effective mailer I have ever seen in my politics career," Salvi said. "I'm voting for Jeanne Ives."
Salvi stunned the political world in 1996 when he rallied from a 14-point polling deficit to top then-Lt. Gov. Bob Kustra in the GOP primary. He eventually lost the general election to Sen. Dick Durbin.
Many see the Ives vs. Rauner race shaping up much the same way Salvi's run was projected, with RussStewart.com estimating that Rauner has spent as much as $50 million of his own money to fund his re-election effort and to keep Ives at arm's length.
Still, Stewart concedes Ives and her supporters have reason for hope and optimism.
“Ives and her socially conservative supporters, who are truly the ‘marginalized of the marginalized,’ deem Rauner to be a RINO, which means Republican In Name Only, and are convinced that Illinois voters are chomping at the bit to elect somebody even more conservative than Rauner," Stewart said.
And then there is the matter of conservative voters being frustrated and perturbed by Rauner’s perceived flip-flop on House Bill 40, the abortion expansion bill he signed into law after vowing he would have no social agenda while in office.
The 52-year-old Ives, a graduate of West Point, has run her campaign on a platform of greater fiscal responsibility and more government accountability.