Jeanne Ives Wins Chicago Republican Party Straw Poll Over Rauner 17 - 3

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Jeanne Ives Wins Chicago Republican Party Straw Poll Over Rauner 17 - 3

January 11, 2018 -- In a major upset, the Central Committee of the Chicago Republican Party voted 17 to 3 with 2 abstentions to back conservative challenger Jeanne Ives over incumbent Governor Bruce Rauner. The vote took place Wednesday evening at a general meeting of the city's Republican ward committeemen.

Ives spoke to the group for nearly an hour before the vote. Governor Rauner had been invited to speak, but declined to do so. Rauner has avoided large gatherings of Republicans since signing a bill to create taxpayer-funded abortions earlier in the year.

"Jeanne impressed everyone with her determination to hit the state's problems head-on. She also showed a command of policy details," said Chris Cleveland, chairman of the Chicago Republican Party.

"It's almost unheard of for a regular Republican organization to fail to endorse an incumbent governor," said Cleveland. "The people in the room felt that Rauner had betrayed them."

The vote kicks off a season of endorsement sessions by county and township Republican organizations in the run-up to the March primary. So far, two suburban organizations have announced endorsements, both for Ives.

The decision by the Chicago Republican Party to back Ives is significant because of the sheer number of votes produced by the City of Chicago. Republicans in the city produce 5% of the Republican primary vote, and 7.5% of the Republican vote in a general election. The number of Republican votes in the city is larger than the number produced by any county except Cook and DuPage. Primary voters often look to local party organizations for guidance on candidate selection.

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