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Rauner To GOP Voters: 'I Have Heard You'

Rauner makes a campaign stop at a Springfield sign-making company, Ace Sign Co., on March 22, 2018.
Daisy Contreras
NPR Illinois
Rauner makes a campaign stop at a Springfield sign-making company, Ace Sign Co., on March 22, 2018.

Governor Bruce Rauner says he needs to “find common ground” with the nearly half of Republican voters who rallied behind his primary election opponent, Jeanne Ives.

In his election night victory speech, Rauner said he heard the message those voters wanted to send, but he has yet to give specific details on what that message is. 

Listen to the story.

Rauner raised almost $26 million for every million raised by Ives. Despite that, he only managed to beat her by three percentage points. 

On election night, Rauner said he heard the message sent by the GOP voters who wanted him out.  “I have traveled the state, and I have listened to you,” he said. 

At a campaign stop in Springfield, reporters asked what exactly Rauner heard — but his answer was vague.  “Specifically there were some issues that divide us," he answered.  He explained he had known for a while that he "needs to find common ground" to bridge the divides, and said he'd like to focus on key issues that unite them — like enacting term limits and lowering property and income taxes.

His opponent, Jeanne Ives, was more specific on those issues during her campaign. She said Rauner was out of touch with Republicans on abortion and a so-called sanctuary law. She also said Rauner placed too much blame on House Speaker Michael Madigan for his own failures as governor.

Unlike the Democratic candidates who lost to J.B. Pritzker but pledged to support him, Ives has yet to call on her base to rally behind Rauner — or even to call Rauner at all.  

Rauner said his campaign team tried to set-up a call with Ives on Wednesday without success.

"We will ultimately bring people together," he said referring to Ives' GOP base and his. 

Copyright 2020 NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS. To see more, visit NPR Illinois | 91.9 UIS.

Daisy Contreras
Daisy reports on statehouse issues for our Illinois Issues project. She's currently a Public Affairs Reporting graduate program student at the University of Illinois Springfield. She graduated from the Illinois Institute of Technology with an associates degrees from Truman College. Daisy is from Chicago where she attended Lane Tech High School.