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HomeIllinois PoliticsDoes a statewide candidate's voting history matter?

Does a statewide candidate’s voting history matter?




AURORA – Does it matter to Illinois Republicans whether their candidate for governor has a history of voting Democrat? Should it matter?

Or should Illinois Republicans give up on the concept of a candidate with proven Republican conservative values ever winning a statewide race? 

With the announcement of Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin running for governor, an array of information has been bombarding the internet – especially as it becomes more well known that Irvin and his running mate state Rep. Avery Bourne are being directed by the same consulting group that ran Bruce Rauner's campaign in 2014 and his re-election campaign in 2018.

The group ran the Rauner campaign both years – alienating, ridiculing and ignoring the state's grassroots conservative base and their principles.

This time, the Rauner consultants are mocking those concerned about Mayor Irvin's voting record of pulling Democrat ballots consistently from 2014 to 2021, except for in 2018, when Irvin pulled a Republican primary ballot – the year Rauner faced a serious threat from then-state Rep. Jeanne Ives. 

Along with the campaign entry, the former Rauner consultants and IL GOP insiders released a list of IL GOP insiders that supposedly have said they endorse Richard Irvin in the IL GOP gubernatorial primary – despite his Democrat voting record: 

UPDATE: The list has since been posted on the Irvin for Illinois campaign site HERE


But does a candidate's voting history matter?  Please share your thoughts below … 


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  1. So long as this State has an open primary system in place where a voter shows up and decides on which ballot he/she will fill out? Political parties lost control of who will run on their slates ages ago.
    I’ve seen campaigns of the past that urged the pulling of ballots for the opposing party during primary season to try to elect someone more easy to defeat. That isn’t new. On the local level it happens more often than we realize.
    When Irvin first ran, no major Democrat would endorse him. When he first ran for Mayor, Madigan backed his opponent to the hilt, and Durbin and Obama endorsed her, not him. Why? His stances on issues didn’t meet their litmus tests?
    His positions matter to me more than which ballot he pulls during a primary. I’ve voted for former Democrats who switched parties in the past based on their positions on issues. One of them was Lake County Sheriff for several terms who switched parties after being elected. That is what a good voter is supposed to do in evaluating candidates.
    And that is how I will research his background to determine how he will act if elected.

  2. Irvin first ran for Aurora mayor in 2005, making it out of nonpartisan primary, but losing in April when mayor office was open.
    His 2nd run was in 2017 when Irvin was first elected mayor, after serving 10 years as an at-large alderman on the city council.
    If the current open primary isn’t working, maybe IL conservatives should run this year to change its elections with a blanket primary instead of what is in place, like CA, WA and LA, or maybe the system Alaska will use for first time this year.

  3. All these people who endorsed Irvin should get a primary opponent to tell people all about Irvin. He’s obviously a liberal on the issues and a Democrat in all but name, as both Bailey and Rabine pointed out: https://www.illinoisreview.com/illinoisreview/2022/01/gop-opponents-respond-to-irvin-entry-into-gubernatorial-primary-race.html#more
    I am sure Atsaves, who I know well, knows all about Irvin’s record. Mark Curran has flipped on pro-life, the issue he supposedly left the Democrat Party for. But at least Curran voted in the 2016 Republican primary. If you couldn’t figure out you were a Republican in the 2016 primary with every flavor of Republican running vs. two hard left Dems, you really are too new to run for any major office until you prove your conversion was genuine with solid actions that we haven’t got from Irvin.
    And no, I don’t want a jungle primary or ranked choice. It would be nice to have a closed primary where only registered Republicans could vote but that prevents true independents from coming in. The best change I would make would be a run off if nobody gets 35-50% of the vote. Bill Brady would have never beaten Kirk Dillard in a run off and Brady was the only one who could have lost in great year for Republicans (like this year) in 2010.
    I doubt if Irvin gets many votes even if there is an organized crossover for him by the Democrats. Too many important Democrat primaries this reapportionment year and voters are getting less likely to flip from one party to the other.
    This is all a ploy to stop Darren Bailey or at least wear him out for the general. If Ken Griffin had really been serious about beating Jelly Belly, Kirk Dillard would be in the race. I believe it very likely that after Griffin’s public criticism of the crime and other madness of Chicago, that some sort of deal has been struck. Wouldn’t surprise me to see Irvin denounce Bailey as an “extremist” if Bailey wins. As I said, we need to primary everyone who endorsed Irvin to make sure this never happens again.

  4. Louis is correct that the open primary system needs to be replaced.
    When I was a boy, if you wanted to change parties in Illinois, you had to skip a primary. We need to return to that.
    It’s hard enough to be sure that real Republicans are conservative in their principles… The idea of throwing it open to proven, known Democrats is simply outrageous. And I am certain that it is one of the many reasons for our state’s decline over these past 50 years.

  5. Richard Irvin Avery Bourne are the RINO ticket backed by billionaire Ken Griffin and the GOP establishment.
    Irvin and Bourne are supposedly brand new to the gubernatorial race, yet they already have the support of the GOP apparatus. That makes it clear that they are there to serve the insiders and not ordinary citizens.
    I’m sick of corrupt, crony, insider, establishment billionaires of both parties selecting one of their minions to be the Illinois governor.
    I’m also sick of the establishment insisting that true conservatives can’t win in Illinois and that we have to settle for milquetoast RINOs.
    The Illinois governorship belongs to the people of Illinois, not the billionaire elite.
    Darren Bailey is the true grassroots conservative candidate running for Illinois governor.

  6. “The best change I would make would be a run off if nobody gets 35-50% of the vote.”
    Being we’re supposed to be conservatives, and a primary runoff election costs money, and would have to be applied equally to all races, would you prefer what Iowa has, if primary winner doesn’t achieve at least 35%, decided at Party’s County convention?
    Would be great incentive to make sure every precinct committeeperson spot is filled.

  7. Irvin is a Democrat in terms of voting record AND governance:
    * wild spending
    * tax increases
    * skyrocketing debt
    * crime increases
    * sanctuary polices
    * DEI discrimination
    * lockdowns / restrictions
    That doesn’t include serious allegations (which I believe to be 100% true) of corruption and other misconduct.
    Irvin was a loser for mayor under the campaign assistance of Tom Cross crew (Kevin Artl) going back to 2005 when he lost to Tom Weisner.
    Birkett’s failed crew of Dennis Cook, Chris Hage, Rick Veenstra, Steve Orlando latched onto Irvin back then when he claimed to be a Republican in name.
    However, as Irvin veered into who he really is (Democrat) those same so-called GOP operatives (grifters) continued to work for Irvin for $$$ even if he was acting recklessly and governing as a Democrat (as alderman).
    In 2017, he and others were able to knock out Linda Chapa LaVia for the mayor’s race (his 3rd attempt to run for mayor?) by splitting up the vote (she finished 3rd).
    His opponent had almost no ID, so while Irvin won the general, it was by approx 175 votes.
    He immediately went full speed ahead as a Democrat in voting and governance.
    Dennis Cook, Steve Orlando, etc still supporting him despite their “GOP” claims.
    Rick Veenstra was rewarded with being named the City of Aurora’s corporation counsel, but Veenstra has kept his mouth shut on many anti-GOP and anti-Republican poilcies enacted by Irvin.
    As awful as Irvin is, the role of these operatives in supporting someone who they know is acting like a Democrat should also be blasted to everyone in Illinois.
    Fast forward to now and those are ALSO part of the same group of RINO’s orchestrating this campaign.
    So far, Irvin’s announcements and videos are full of lies and being a Fake Republican.
    IF Richard Irvin is able to get away with this fraud, it’s the total death of the GOP in Illinois.

  8. The fools who think Richard Irvin can defeat Pritzker overlooked one terrible flaw with their candidate…he will split the Republicans voters worse than Rauner. He will then get crushed by Pritzker in the general election for the same reason as Rauner did. Republicans won’t go out and vote for Irvin in the numbers necessary to defeat Pritzker.
    This race is all about defeating Pritzker…the geniuses who backed Rauner in 2022…now think they have come up with the right formula…a stronger Rauner 2.0 candidate. This is beyond comical…invest in U-Haul.

  9. When Republican ballot choices are so thin, what’s the point of voting in the Republican primary anyway? I’m sure there have been many more significant options to weigh in on in the Dem primaries.
    In all the decrying of Irvin’s “Democrat governance”, I haven’t seen detailed examples or evenhanded analysis of what he did that made conditions worse.
    As I understand it, analytical polling showed that none of the alternatives has a chance against Pritzker.
    And there’s no good reason the Democrat Governor’s Association is most vocal against Irvin.