Rauner Announces Re-election Bid on Brink of Veto Session

After publicly equivocating of late, Gov. Bruce Rauner on Monday officially launched his bid for a second term in a highly produced two-minute video that portrays him as a Harley-riding biker who is battle-worn but not weary, ready to rescue a grim, gray, abandoned state—a state that Rauner, as narrator, says “they” describe as a place where “it couldn’t be done. That it was crazy. To think this place could be saved.”

“Now we have a choice. We can throw in the towel, walk away and leave our future to the same corrupt, career politicians. Or we can fight. I choose to fight,” he says in the video, as a choir holds the final, triumphant note that wouldn’t be out of place on the “Braveheart” soundtrack.

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With some $65 million in his campaign account, Rauner’s got the money for slick productions, but the announcement comes as his path to the Republican nomination stands in question.

The first-term governor’s signature of a law that allows Medicaid recipients and state employees to get abortions using government-backed insurance (and therefore taxpayer dollars) has so infuriated members of his party that conservative firebrand state Rep. Jeanne Ives, R-Wheaton, is exploring a primary run against him.

Whether rank-and-file Republican lawmakers will vent their anger at Rauner by deserting him on his legislative priorities will begin to become apparent Tuesday, when lawmakers return to Springfield.

The fall veto session is currently scheduled to run through Thursday, with the General Assembly continuing that work Nov. 7-9. 

Follow Amanda Vinicky on Twitter: @AmandaVinicky

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