Gov. Bruce Rauner cannot ignore his primary opponent any longer.
The first-term Republican incumbent released an ad statewide Tuesday targeting state Rep. Jeanne Ives – who’s challenging him from the right for the GOP nomination.
The ad claims Ives is Democratic House Speaker Mike Madigan’s “favorite Republican.”
Rauner’s campaign will also continue, as it has done in recent months, to attack Democratic candidate J.B. Pritzker.
A Rauner source said the commercial on Ives is “a targeted statewide TV and digital ad on Representative Ives' poor record on taxes and her unwillingness to take on Mike Madigan.”
“We will continue highlighting JB Pritzker's record and we're able to walk and chew gum at the same time,” that source continued. “But Representative Ives has already proven herself to be a completely unelectable candidate in the general election, and we're going to make sure Republicans know how wrong she is on the issues of taxes and failing to fight the status quo.”
In response, Ives' campaign released a statement calling the governor's ad a lie.
"This ad is consistent with Rauner's character," the statement reads.
"He is an unrepentant liar. If he'll lie to Cardinal Cupich, he'll lie to anyone about anything," her campaign said, referencing Rauner's signing of a measure to allow coverage for abortions for state employees and Medicaid recipients, the issue that prompted Ives to jump into the race. "And in his three years as governor, he has lied to everyone about everything."
Ives' campaign also brought up Rauner's admission that he knows Madigan "well" and has played golf with him, a statement Rauner made in a contentious endorsement session with Ives before the Chicago Tribune editorial board.
"As governor, it's been more like Rauner caddying for Madigan," the statement said. "It was Rauner who abdicated during last year's budget debate, and let 15 House Republicans pass Madigan's tax hike."
"Ives expects Rauner to lie about her and to lie to Illinois families. That's just what he does. And so it begins," the statement concluded.