Bourne votes early in Taylorville, still optimistic about Irvin campaign

Rep. Avery Bourne (R-Morrisonville) talks with reporters after voting early at the Christian...
Rep. Avery Bourne (R-Morrisonville) talks with reporters after voting early at the Christian County Courthouse.(Mike Miletich)
Published: Jun. 21, 2022 at 5:09 PM CDT
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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WGEM) - Republican candidates for governor are traveling across the state trying to gain last-minute support.

Rep. Avery Bourne (R-Morrisonville) voted early Tuesday in Taylorville. Bourne, Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin’s running mate, feels Republicans have a great chance at winning many races this year. She says there have been more GOP supporters at events recently than she has seen over the past decade.

Bourne claims voters have seen the failures of Democratic leaders on the state and national levels.

“Our policies are the ones that allow families to afford to live here, families to stay here, that allows families to stay safe,” Bourne said. “And with this culture of corruption in Springfield, we have to root it out. So, I think we are the optimistic party with the solutions.”

Bourne believes the Republican party is a “big tent” party now. She said some people who traditionally don’t align with Republican values are voting for GOP candidates.

The downstate lawmaker stressed that the Illinois Republican Party must come together to beat the Democrats in November, even if Sen. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia) wins the primary over Irvin.

The Irvin campaign has lost support over the past few weeks after voters watched televised debates in Chicago. Several lawmakers recently announced they are backing other Republican candidates. Rep. Ryan Spain (R-Peoria), who initially joined a long list of House GOP members to back Irvin and Bourne, is hosting a campaign event Tuesday night for Jesse Sullivan.

However, Bourne claims their ticket still has the longest list of strong conservative supporters.

“There’s only one team that J.B. Pritzker, the Democratic Governors Association, and the Democratic Party of Illinois are spending money against and that’s the Irvin-Bourne team because they know that we are the ones to take them out in November,” Bourne said.

She said Republican voters need to look at the fine print in attack ads and realize Democrats continue to meddle in the Republican primary. Bourne said she doesn’t expect to see a Trump endorsement for the Illinois gubernatorial race, and the Irvin-Bourne slate wants to gain support from undecided voters.

Trump will hold a rally Saturday in Mendon, Illinois, to support Rep. Mary Miller (R-Oakland). Bailey’s campaign team still hopes to receive a Trump endorsement before the primary on June 28.

“We will support whoever the Republican nominee is,” Bourne said. “Obviously, we’re optimistic that it’s us. I think that voters need to know right now that we can’t fall for what J.B. Pritzker is doing. I fully believe that a vote for Darren Bailey in the primary is a vote to re-elect J.B. Pritzker this fall.”

Bourne said people need to vote for the strongest, most-conservative person who can win in the general election.

The Democratic Governors Association said Tuesday that Bailey’s polling numbers continue to soar while Irvin’s have plunged. The organization argues Irvin has a lot of work ahead in the final stretch.

“One week from today, voters will choose their Republican nominee for governor,” said DGA Illinois Press Secretary Yael Sheinfeld. “Regardless of who ultimately clinches that nomination, Illinoisans know Gov. J.B. Pritzker is the only proven leader for our state.”

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