Wednesday, May 15, 2019

A Rauner-like re-do come 2020?

Those of us paying attention will remember the Republican primary for governor in 2018 – the one where incumbent Bruce Rauner narrowly defeated his challenger, state Sen. Jeanne Ives of Wheaton, but was left so weakened that Democrat J.B. Pritzker easily cleaned his clock come the general election.
RAUNER: Will we relive 2018 GOP primary?

Well, guess what! It seems we’re going to get a replay, of sorts, come 2020. Or at least those people who live in the Illinois 6th Congressional district will.

THOSE ARE THE people of suburban DuPage County who for many years were represented in Congress by Henry Hyde, and whose district was considered the very base of the Republican Party in Illinois.

But as one of the ultimate bits of evidence that the Illinois GOP is not really the “Party of Lincoln” of tradition any longer, the district picked Sean Casten, a Democrat, to be their Congressman in last year’s election.

Which means Republicans are viewing dumping Casten from office as one of their political priorities, and the list of people willing to use the Republican banner to campaign on is developing.

Rauner’s lieutenant governor running mate, Evelyn Sanguinetti, already has expressed interest in the post. She’s a Wheaton native who once served on the City Council, prior to Rauner tapping her as his potential backup – had something happened to him while in office.
IVES: Rehashing Rauner trashing?

WHICH COULD TURN out to be the campaign where Sanguinetti goes out of her way to claim that Rauner was never fully appreciated by Illinoisans – and how her political victory could be a sign of redemption.

So perhaps it is all too appropriate that Sanguinetti has a primary election challenger she will have to beat before she can get to campaigning against Casten.

It’s none other than Jeanne Ives herself – the woman who repeatedly bashed about Rauner and claimed he was way too liberal for Illinois. Even though the bulk of Illinois voters ultimately voted for governor in ways indicating hey thought she was too conservative for our state.

Does this mean the congressional primary next year will wind up as a replay of the Republican gubernatorial primary? Even though now Ives’ operatives are circulating a poll trying to figure out how she’d stand up against Casten in a general election.
SANGUINETTI: Defending her former superior?

ARE WE GOING to hear a defense of The Rauner Years from Sanguinetti, countered with constant repeats of the Rauner bashing that Ives engaged in last year – with constant reminders that Sanguinetti is little more than a Rauner lackey?

Will Ives think that using the 2020 primary to try to beat Rauner’s running mate is a way of rewriting history – creating the perception that SHE was the real winner in the long run?

I’m sure Sanguinetti backers (are their any?) will try to claim she’s an independent persona in her own right. But her lieutenant governorship was very low key – as are most lieutenant governors. She’s not going to have a lot of independent government achievements to tout.

Making it far too easy for her to be dubbed as Rauner-lite by Ives. Who herself will easily be tagged with a label of just another ideological loon who can’t accept the fact that the majority of Illinois thinks she’s wrong!

THERE IS ONE positive to the idea of a Sanguinetti/Ives matchup in the Illinois 6th Republican primary – this will be limited to the land of DuPage, rather than the entirety of Illinois as was last year’s gubernatorial primary.
CASTEN: An easier-than-expected re-election in 2020?

We won’t all be subjected to the rounds of nonsense rhetoric a second time. Then again, I suspect the overwhelming majority of Cook County (which accounts for nearly half of Illinois’ population) voters focused on the Democratic primary and didn’t pay much attention to Rauner/Ives to begin with.

Which could make Sean Casten, a resident of suburban Downers Grove, the ultimate winner.

The Sanguinetti/Ives primary could get so vicious rhetorically that they beat each other silly. Leaving each other all bloodied politically to the point that Casten doesn’t get anywhere near as intense a challenge for his re-election as Republican political operatives dream of giving him next year.


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