Controversial GOP Candidate for Illinois Governor to Speak at IOP

Jeanne Ives will speak at the IOP on Monday.


Daniel O'Neil

Republican candidate for Illinois governor, Jeanne Ives, at the Illinois Statehouse.

By Lee Harris, Editor-in-Chief

Jeanne Ives, Republican candidate for Illinois governor, will speak at the Institute of Politics (IOP) on Monday.

Ives’s visit follows a month of tumultuous campaigning, including a controversial TV ad that appears to mock transgender individuals, among other groups, which quickly sparked bipartisan outcry.

The ad depicts a young woman wearing a pink “pussy hat” thanking incumbent Governor Bruce Rauner for “making all Illinois families pay for my abortions.”

“Thank you for signing legislation that lets me use the girls’ bathroom,” says a deep-voiced actor wearing a dress. A man in a hoodie with a bandana over his mouth thanks Rauner for making Illinois “a sanctuary state for illegal immigrant criminals.”

Former Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady denounced the advertisement in a tweet.

A West Point graduate, Ives served in the U.S. Army as a platoon leader, and later as an ROTC instructor at Wheaton College. She entered the Republican primary race late last year, after serving three terms as a member of the Illinois House of Representatives for the 42nd District.

Ives’s platform centers on capping income and property taxes, repealing sanctuary state protections for immigrants, and broadly defending “conservative values.”

Ives has also been a vocal critic of ready access to abortions.

“Ives will repeal the new, open-ended entitlement Rauner created by signing public funding of abortion on demand,” her campaign website reads.

Governor Rauner currently holds an 18-point lead against Ives, according to polling data from the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute, as of Thursday, March 1. Rauner has been deemed the most vulnerable incumbent governor in the United States.

Ives’s visit comes on the heels of other gubernatorial candidates’ visits: on Thursday, the IOP hosted a debate among Democratic gubernatorial candidates at the Logan Center. Prior to the debate, Democratic candidate Daniel Biss sat down for an interview with the Maroon's Editorial Team.