As state lawmakers delay a vote on the Equal Rights Amendment, the Democrat running against Gov. Bruce Rauner is pushing him to say where he stands on it. […]
The Rauner campaign responded with this statement: “The Governor supports equal rights for everyone.”
Democrats have clearly calculated that bringing up the ERA at this time puts Republicans, especially Rauner, in a tough spot.
For the governor, declaring himself in favor of the amendment would risk further alienating the conservative wing of the Republican Party that he is trying to win back after a divisive primary election against Rep. Jeanne Ives.
Conservative Republicans argue the ERA would open the way for government-paid abortions and co-ed prisons, which ERA supporters deny.
But openly opposing the ERA would hurt Rauner’s chances with women voters, particularly the suburban independent women who provided an important part of his winning coalition in 2014.
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With concerns about taking any stand that might further anger his base this election year, Governor Rauner has refused to directly support the Amendment.
“I’ve made my position clear, I support equal rights for everyone,” Rauner said.