Amid news of a Republican primary challenger, Governor Bruce Rauner’s campaign has revamped his website. Eagle-eyed political commentator Rich Miller of the Capitol Fax blog however, noted the Governor removed the “accomplishments” section of the site.
Critics are noting that the move is fitting – given that the Governor has few to report.
In his 2014 campaign, Rauner’s pitch to voters included big ideas, like pension reform, right-to-work union-busting policies, term limits, and smaller items, like reforming the state’s gas tax, allowing municipalities to declare bankruptcy, and reforming the state’s guidelines for lawsuits.
However, Rauner’s agenda met unprecedented resistance, with protests erupting across the state and in the halls of the General Assembly. In particular, Rauner’s so-called right to work legislation was a non-starter and received zero votes in the State House.
Rauner pushed the state to the brink, holding the budget hostage in order to pass non-budgetary reforms. During the more than two-year impasse, the backlog of unpaid bills grew to more than $15 billion. In 2015, when Governor Rauner first took office, the state’s unpaid bill backlog was about $6 billion.
In July, lawmakers passed a state budget without the involvement of the Governor. The bipartisan coalition ultimately decided the Governor’s agenda – which would have pushed the state into a third consecutive year without a budget – would do irreparable damage to the state’s finances and institutions.
None of Rauner’s major agenda items were signed into law.
Republican and Democratic candidates for governor must file a minimum of 5,000 valid petition signatures to get on the March 20 primary ballot and can file up to 10,000. Petitions can be filed with the State Board of Elections as early as Nov. 27 and no later than Dec. 4.