Bailey points to Rauner's record as reason for not debating Ives
Darren Bailey doesn’t blame Gov. Bruce Rauner for not wanting to debate Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton), his chief rival in the Republican primary.
“If I had his record, I wouldn’t want to talk either,” Bailey, the Xenia Republican who is running against Rep. Dave Reis (R-Willow Hill) in the 109th District, told the SE Illinois News. “For him to want to compare his record to hers would speak to a lack of integrity on his part that’s along the lines of him signing the Sanctuary City and HB 40 abortion bills into law.”
The Telegraph recently blasted Rauner as being "a coward" for thus far refusing to debate Ives before the March primary. The website added the University of Illinois at Springfield tried to organize a GOP debate for some time in February, but Rauner steadfastly refused to take part.
“Rauner is a lot like my opponent,” Bailey said. “They don’t want to talk about their records, but the voters won’t let them forget. Jeanne Ives has the kind of fight in her we need to turn this state around.”
Bailey said the final straw for him in deciding to challenge Reis came when the lawmaker voted in favor of the 32 percent tax increase that was part of the new state budget and has since refused to take ownership of it.
“He won’t even own up to voting in favor of (the) increase,” Bailey said. “I have letters and press releases where he says calling him out over it is negative campaigning. Instead, he argues he voted against Gov. Rauner’s veto of the budget. That's the same thing as voting for the increase.”
Bailey said much of his campaign has been about trying to rebuild the trust of voters, who he finds are desperate for change.
“When I speak to people, they hear what comes from my heart and the reaction has strong,” he said. “I have no desire to make this a career. With seven grandchildren, I just want to be able to assure that they can stay here in the state and I can be around them. That starts with getting Illinois back on the right path.”