Aurora’s Irvin expected to elect a lawmaker in the lower state on the GOP’s governor ticket

Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin is expected to select a Republican in the down state as a candidate when he announces his candidacy for governor next week, sources told the Daily Herald on Friday.

State Representative Avery Bourne of Montgomery County is expected to join Irvin’s ticket as early as Monday at a campaign event in Aurora, which kicks off a Battle Royale to win the Republican primary on June 28.

Four other candidates are seeking their party’s nomination and the chance to run for Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker in the general election.

Irvin did not return for comment, but several GOP insiders said that if the two-term mayor, former assistant attorney general and military veteran run, he has impressive credentials, and his suburban base is key.

“He has a military background, he’s a prosecutor … I hear a lot of good things about him,” said Bob Grogan, a member of the Republican Central Committee, from Downers Grove.

However, many Republican voters are likely to have an explanation for why Irvin drew Democratic ballots in the 2014, 2016 and 2020 general elections and in the 2017 and 2021 consolidated primary elections.

Irvin elected a Republican vote in the 2018 primary, which former Governor Bruce Rauner won.

The mayor’s potential lieutenant governor election, Bourne, comes from an agricultural family and serves on the House’s grant and education committee. The 29-year-old represents the state’s 95th district.

Wealthy Republican donor and Citadel CEO Ken Griffin has stated he will fund a viable candidate to take on Pritzker.

If Griffin passes Irvin’s case, “he will have a massive money advantage, and there is a crowded field of very conservative Republican primary candidates and several downstaters who will split that bloc,” noted former state Senator Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale, a former state. GOP candidate for governor and former DuPage Republican chairman.

Aurora’s Irvin expected to elect a lawmaker in the lower state on the GOP’s governor ticket

Governor JB Pritzker, left, joins Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin at an event to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations in Cathedral of Grace St. John African Methodist Episcopal Church in Aurora in March 2021.
– Brian Hill | Staff photographer

In the general election, Pritzker is a formidable opponent, but Irvin and the incumbent governor have apparently had a cordial working relationship since, for example, they appeared together last spring to encourage COVID-19 vaccinations.

Meanwhile, the Kane County Democratic Party was quick to criticize Irvin in a statement issued Friday expressing “their disappointment with the mayor.” The party “stands firmly behind” Pritzker, “officials said, linking Irvin with Rauner in what could be a playbook for the election.

Additional suburban candidates include Palatine Township Highway Commissioner Aaron Del Mar, who is running for lieutenant governor with Gary Rabine of McHenry County, a Schaumburg business owner seeking to become the next governor.

McHenry County Board Vice President Carolyn Schofield will team up with Governor Hope and former State Senator Paul Schimpf of Monroe County as a candidate for lieutenant governor.

Other candidates are State Senator Darren Bailey of Louisville and venture capitalist Jesse Sullivan of Petersburg.

Petitions in the primary election began to be circulated on Thursday, and the submission period is 7-14. March.

• Daily Herald staff writer Susan Sarkauskas contributed to this story.


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