GOP campaign targets Madigan, potential Democratic gubernatorial candidates
The Illinois Republican Party has released the first ad in a campaign targeting House Speaker Michael Madigan (D-Chicago) and potential gubernatorial candidates for the 2018 election.
"The Illinois Republican Party launched the first phase of its 'Drop the Mike' campaign, highlighting how Madigan and his prospective gubernatorial candidates are working for the Chicago machine and against the people," state GOP spokesman Steven Yaffe said in a release.
A new face included among the potential Democratic candidates is Cheri Bustos, the U.S representative for Illinois' 17th District who took the seat from Republican incumbent Bobby Schilling in 2012. She ran victorious campaigns in 2014 and 2016 to hold her House seat.
Politico reported in September that when asked about a run at the governor's position, Bustos left the door open. “2018 is a long time away, her focus right now is on 2016, representing her district to the best of her ability and getting Democrats elected up and down the ballot,” Bustos' campaign manager Stacy Raker told Politico.
The GOP is readying itself for the 2018 race for the governor's mansion. With strong candidates such as Bustos, who is one of two Democratic representatives not based in Chicago, the Democrats could draw votes from traditionally Republican districts.
The GOP's latest ad features a strong bass beat and rap featuring Madigan and his "boys." The rap includes, "I'm Mike Madigan and I rock Illinois. I'm the speaker of the House and these are my boys. I'm the longest-serving speaker in the U.S.A." The rap ends with "Madigan out" and a mic drop.
Yaffee questioned whether any of the Democratic candidates being discussed, including Bustos, Chris Kennedy, former governor Pat Quinn and state Sens. Andy Manar (D-Bunker Hill), Kwame Raoul (D-Chicago) and Heather Steans (D-Chicago), would be independent of Madigan's wide influence.
“The people of Illinois deserve to know whether potential gubernatorial candidates will be independent of Mike Madigan," Yaffee said. "Do they support his unprecedented reign as speaker and will they demand that he step down as chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois?”