Illinois GOP leaders slam Rep. Jeanie Ives’ new campaign ad attacking Rauner

CHICAGO -- Illinois Republicans are lining up to condemn a new campaign ad by one of their own.

State Rep. Jeanie Ives, a three term legislator from Wheaton, began airing an ad over the weekend that attacks Governor Bruce Rauner on a number of issues, including abortion, immigration and transgender rights.

Some are calling the ad racist, sexist, transphobic and divisive.

The ad plays off a previous commercial for her current opponent in the GOP primary, Governor Rauner. It featured midwestern governors thanking House Speaker Mike Madrigal for the business headed to their states. The new Ives ad features actors dressed as women’s march participants, CTU members and a transgender individual who thanks Rauner for allowing use of the girls’ restroom.

The ad is a hard shift to the right for Ives, a longtime social conservative, a graduate of West Point and a mother of five. She entered the race after Rauner signed a bill to expand public funding of abortion for state workers and those on Medicaid. Rauner had promised the conservative caucus that he would veto it.

State GOP Chairman Tim Schneider, a Rauner ally, released a statement saying: “There is no place in the Illinois Republican Party for rhetoric that attacks our fellow Illinoisans based on their race, gender or humanity.”

He called for Ives to stop running the ad.

The Rauner campaign also said the ad has no place in Illinois. But Ives says it illustrates Rauner’s “real agenda.”

Ives has also vowed to return a contribution from a supporter with Nazi images on his Twitter account. She has said she repudiates and disavows him.

Ives spoke at Monday’s City Club of Chicago luncheon in River North. She began her remarks by saying she was aware there were people there chomping at the bit to chop her to bits. But she added there’s nothing better than a primary election to shake up state politics.