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HomeIllinois NewsRauner endorses Republican incumbent challenger in Senate 50th district race

Rauner endorses Republican incumbent challenger in Senate 50th district race



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SPRINGFIELD – The capital city's Republicans have endorsed their incumbent GOP Senator Sam McCann, but Thursday night, a video from Governor Bruce Rauner backing McCann challenger Bryce Benton was run at the Sangamon County GOP dinner. 

McCann was the only Republican senator to support overriding Governor Rauner's veto of SB 1229 – the arbitration bill –  and for that willful disobedience, McCann is being targeted with two purposes: to oust McCann and teach every other Republican in the General Assembly a lesson, "Don't defy the governor, or the same will happen to you."

It's called "whipping" in political circles. 

Not only has Rauner endorsed McCann's challenger Bryce Benton, he has encouraged his big donor friends to write million dollar checks to independent expenditure groups that are spending hundreds of thousands attacking McCann in mailers and television ads. Thus far, Benton reports only three contributions from individuals in excess of $1000 since January, but the Illinois Opportunity Project and associating groups have spent over $600,000 against McCann and in support of Benton. 

While Family PAC endorsed challenger Benton last week, pro-family and pro-life groups encouraged those concerned about traditional family values to support McCann's re-election.

Ironically, in the endorsement video Rauner says, "We have to send a message to special interests: the days of control in Illinois are over."

Clearly, he means the days of union control will be over with McCann's defeat, and Governor Rauner and his friends will be the new controllers in town.


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  1. Rauner is right on this one. McCann is bad on tax and spend and Benton is just as good as McCann on the other social issues. I am sorry to see a lot of groups falling for “there only is pro-life and gay marriage” when it comes to pro-family issues. The families of Illinois are being driven out of the state due to the terrible policies of people like McCann. He is simply an indentured servant of the unions and needs to go.
    “When in doubt, throw them out” should be the motto of all conservative groups. Too many of them turn into incumbent protectors even when these incumbents, like McCann and fellow big spender Shimkus, betray large elements of the conservative coalition. These groups will take a big hit in credibility. I am very glad to stand with Family PAC against our terrible Illinois “Republican” incumbents.

  2. Sounds a little like “weeding one’s garden” to Rauner. On the other hand, to me it sounds Rauner’s actions are more like “my way or the highway”. This type of action by Rauner tends to “blur the lines of distinction” between himself and Mike Madigan. I can only imagine how the other Illinois GOP elected officials down in Springfield must feel by this heavy-handed move by their own Republican Party leader. Leadership by intimidation sounds so terribly wrong in a state or national governmental body. It sounds very much like something Donald Trump would pull to get his own way. As a Republican voter from Illinois who voted for Bruce Rauner, Mr. Rauner really disappoints me by his recent action.

  3. Just curious – wonder how long the governor thinking Bryce Benton will stay in office when the state workers that live in this district find out that he’ll ignore their phone calls on crucial rlegislation on collective bargaining and right to work issues. What will happen is that this will become one more Democrat seat for the Cullerton super majority.
    That’s brilliant and in the long run strengthens the Democrat stronghhold in Ilinois. I hope the people of the 50th side with a guy that’s not a tool of the Governor.
    I admire any elected official with backbone.

  4. Although I am all for you Governor, I am also all for Sam McCann. I thought the video that we watched at the Lincoln Day dinner was disgusting and Bryce should have been truly embarrassed. Based on the audience I think many others felt the same way. Our dinner is not meant to be a political arena. It is all about good Republicans honoring a good Republican. It is all about Abe Lincoln.

  5. The endorsement video and timing showed a total lack of class by Rauner. It also showed a lack of respect for the Sangamon County Republicans and their Chairman. Why the video? If you were “proud to endorse”, why not do it in person and face the people in that room?
    Showing even less class is the sleazy campaign being ran by Liberty Principles PAC (???) for McCann’s opponent with Rauner’s $$$$$. Anyone who goes along with getting elected with these kind of tactics doesn’t deserve to be in office!
    One has to wonder why Rauner and his minions aren’t spending money like this against Madigan in his primary race?
    If this is the “new” Republican Party in Illinois, I (a lifelong Republican voter, volunteer, and donor) no longer want to be associated with it.