Republicans accuse Pritzker of intervening in GOP primary election

Republicans accuse Pritzker of intervening in GOP primary election

SPRINGFIELD, IL — The Illinois Republican party is calling out Gov. J.B. Pritzker following a new television ad attacking gubernatorial candidate and Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin.

The Democratic Governors Association (DGA) is running television ads that criticizes Irvin’s time as a defense attorney, and the fact that he represented criminals in court. Irvin served as a defense attorney before he became a prosecutor.  

“Tell Mayor Richard Irvin: Stop pretending to be tough on crime,” a voice says in the ad. “Start supporting policies that keep people safe.”

Four years ago, the DGA also bought TV ads during the Bruce Rauner-Jeannie Ives primary race, which Rauner won.

During a news conference Thursday, House Minority Leader Rep. Jim Durkin, R-Western Springs, didn’t mince words.

“Instead of being a man and putting his name on these false attacks, Governor Pritzker chooses to hide behind political insider groups by forcing them to meddle into the GOP primary on his behalf,” said Durkin.  

The primary where Irvin is in a field of several other Republicans vying for the GOP nomination is June 28. 

Illinois Republicans have made crime a focal point over the past several months, especially since Pritzker signed into law several controversial crime reform measures pushed by the Legislative Black Caucus, including police accountability measures and the end of cash bail.

State Sen. Sue Rezin, R-Morris, said Pritzker can hide behind the DGA, but he can’t hide behind his dangerous record on public safety.

“The simple truth is that Pritzker is weak and he knows it,” said Rezin. “He knows he can’t match Richard’s strong record when it comes to crime and his support of law enforcement.”

Political ads for gubernatorial candidates are ramping up in Illinois, with the DGA reportedly buying $3 million worth of advertisements. According to Politico, Pritzker donated $250,000 to the DGA in December. 

State Sen. Darren Bailey, R-Xenia, who was one of the first to declare his candidacy for the GOP nomination, bought his first TV campaign ads this week. Irvin has been running ads for several weeks with the support of billionaire GOP booster Ken Griffin. 

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