A new ad by Republican state Rep. Jeanne Ives, who is challenging Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner in the primary, has become controversial.
Leaders from both Republican and Democratic parties are calling on Ives to pull the ad that has been denounced as anti-immigrant, racist, sexist and transphobic.
An introductory television ad that Ives released at the weekend defines her as the conservative reform candidate in the 2018 Gubernatorial Primary.
The new ad, titled “Thank you, Bruce Rauner,” mockingly thanks the governor for clearing a path in support of a series of social issues.
The 30-second spot features an actor portraying a transgender woman thanking the governor for signing a law expanding trans rights, and a woman wearing a pink hat symbolic of women’s marches.
The campaign team says the ad gives a fair and accurate representation of the implications of Governor Rauner’s policy choices.
“Those Republican primary voters who don’t know of Rauner’s betrayals of conservatives need to know. Now they will”.
Reaction to the ad was swift, with Republican Party Chair Tim Schneider, Rauner’s campaign spokesman Will Allison as well as groups supporting transgender, abortion and immigration rights in Illinois calling on Ives to pull the ad.
“There is no place in the Illinois Republican Party for rhetoric that attacks our fellow Illinoisans based on their race, gender or humanity. Rep. Ives’ campaign ad does not reflect who we are as the Party of Lincoln and as proud residents of our great and diverse state,” said Schneider, who is an ally of Gov. Rauner.