Rauner preaches unity after heated primary


MAKANDA — Gov. Bruce Rauner (R-Illinois) says he’s working to bring the Republican party together, just weeks after he narrowly won a heated primary.

The governor stopped in Jackson County Friday to kick off the Special Olympics’ 50th anniversary celebration.

He spoke afterward about unity ahead of the November election.

“It’s very important that we all come together,” Rauner said. “We need to create a better future for the people of Illinois.”

But is Rauner practicing what he preaches?

The Democratic Governor’s Association says no.

The group claims Governor Rauner hasn’t met with Ives since the election.

Rauner denied the claim, saying he spoke to Ives “right after the election.”

He also said since the election, he’s been holding unity meetings across the state.

“What I’m doing, pretty much every day, is traveling around the state,” Rauner said. “Meeting with not only Republican elected officials as well as grassroots activists, but also meeting with many community leaders, Democrats, independent voters, talking about coming together as a people.”

Ives isn’t backing off her criticisms of Rauner though.

She told the EWTN Global Catholic Network Thursday that Rauner lied about the abortion bill he signed in September.

“The pro-life community needs a wake-up call,” Ives said.

News 3 reached out to Ives for comment and we have not heard back.

Rauner said he doesn’t believe the upcoming election will be about partisan politics.  

“We’ve got to end the corruption. We’ve got to end the job losses,” Rauner said. “We’ve got to end the brutal tax burden. Our taxes are too high.”

He’s also optimistic he’ll avoid another budget impasse this summer.

“The people of Illinois are tired of the rancor and the bickering and tired of having unbalanced budgets,” Rauner said.

But he’ll need Democrats in order to pass his budget, and the 48 percent of Republicans who voted against him in the primary.

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