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Do we finally have the answer about whether Richard Irvin voted for Donald Trump?

Monday, May 16, 2022

* In a roundabout way, and after much pressing, Richard Irvin essentially admitted to WJPF’s Tom Miller today that he voted for Donald Trump in 2016 and 2020

Tom Miller: You know, it’s interesting, Richard, because I’m a recipient of much of your mailers, I get them literally, like it seems like every other day at this point. And, you know, do you find it interesting that the last presidential election is playing such a large role in our governor’s election, in particular, a TV station releasing some [texts] from you? Are you surprised by the fact that this Trump election was playing such a large role in our governor’s election this year?

Richard Irvin: You know, I’m disheartened by it. But I’m not surprised by it, because the fact is, this this pleases JB Pritzker. There’s nothing more that would please JB Pritzker than us talking about the White House and national politics versus focusing on his failures in the state of Illinois. Simple as that. You know, as long as we’re talking about things that don’t matter, that aren’t priority to the residents. And those priority things are the things that I hear about every time I travel throughout the state. That crime is out of control, that tax and wasteful spending is out of control, taxes are too high, that corruption is out of control. If we don’t talk about those things that are pertinent to our residents, and we get off the subject talking about national politics and the White House, then we don’t address the issues and JB Pritzker wins. That’s exactly what he wants. What we have to do is refocus and talk about those things that are important now, right now, to the residents in the state of Illinois for us to move forward as a state and to progress and to get jobs back in areas that needed most to reduce taxes so we don’t constantly lose businesses and residents to our border border states or all the other 49 states to make sure we get rid of this Pritzker-Madigan corruption that actually prevents us from moving forward. You know, as the sixth largest state in the union, we’ve got to focus on what residents, what they care about today. I was down south talking to some folks in in Southern Illinois, that said the meth problem in Illinois, as drugs come up, you know, across the border is terrible. And they can no longer leave their their doors locked at night because kids in their neighborhood that were kids that they knew at one time, little kids nice kids are now meth heads and breaking into their homes and stealing stuff. That’s in Southern Illinois. Same thing in Chicagoland, same thing in central Illinois. Crime is out of control, you gotta address it head on.

Tom Miller: But Richard, you’re the one sending out the mailings about the Trump, on Bailey not voting for Trump. You’re the one sending those emails, those messages out.

Richard Irvin: Listen when we, you know, I was attacked by my opponents, all of my opponents even before I got into this campaign, even before I got into this race for governor. And I think it’s important that we make everyone’s record clear. That’s what this is about, comparing records in this primary, comparing records. So we can determine who the best person is for the job. Now, what would my opponents don’t want to talk about, they don’t want to talk about the fact that I’m a combat veteran and served our country proud of the United States Army, and in the first Gulf War. They don’t want to talk about thata. They don’t want to talk about the fact that I’m a former prosecutor and I personally put criminals behind bars, and that I’m the one most equipped to be able to deal with the crime that’s running rampant throughout our state. They don’t want to talk about the fact that I’m the mayor of the second largest city in the state of Illinois, with a proven record of supporting our men and women of law enforcement, reducing taxes for our residents, attracting businesses, attracting new residents to things that our state of Illinois needs. You know, my opponents want to point out other things about me. So it’s important that I point out parts of their records. Not that it’s pertinent to the campaign, but I got to point their records out so everybody knows all of our records.

Tom Miller: Right. Right. So can I ask you who you voted for in the last presidential election? We can be done with this subject and move back on to the important items.

Richard Irvin: Listen, that’s the point. That’s exactly what JB Pritzker wants to be talking about. Want to be talking about who we voted for in the last election and what happened yesterday instead of what’s going on now and what’s going to happen tomorrow. What’s gonna happen with the state of Illinois, you know, why are we focused on, you know, the things that, you know, that are important to right now? And I don’t want to get into that.

Tom Miller: Right. Well, that’s why I wanted to ask so we could be done with it, hopefully and move on. That’s why I asked.

Richard Irvin: Listen, I’m a Republican. In the general election, I always vote Republican.

Tom Miller: All right. Good enough.

Please pardon all transcription errors.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

38 Comments
  1. - Socially DIstant watcher - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 1:17 pm:

    VERY roundabout. Like, maybe not in the strike zone, especially after the WTTW story.

    Speaking of, was the interview conducted before Irvin’s text messages calling Trump a racist bigot became public or after? If after, seems like Miller should have asked about that.

    (I know this was “today,” but was it recorded earlier?)


  2. - Nick - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 1:17 pm:

    So he didn’t directly say yes.

    Spent a ton of words refusing to say yes.

    And even if he did say yes? I’m not sure if I’d helieve him.

    Amazing.


  3. - Keyrock - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 1:20 pm:

    Focus, Mayor. Focus.


  4. - TheInvisibleMan - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 1:24 pm:

    “I personally put criminals behind bars”

    Personally? Is he claiming he was a prison guard now too? I don’t recall the part of the transfer of custody of someone convicted where the prosecutor is personally brining people into their prison cells.

    But back to the point;

    Leaving a section blank on a ballot is ‘not voting’. So WHEN he votes, he always votes republican.

    He left that one blank on the ballot. Otherwise he would come out and directly say he voted for the guy.


  5. - Henry Francis - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 1:25 pm:

    This Irvin guy sure does use a lot of words to say nothing.


  6. - illinifan - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 1:25 pm:

    A lot of Republicans I know voted Republican but not Trump. They either did not include the former guy in their vote or they wrote in the name of another Republican. Crafty answer that opens the listener to a lot of assumptions.


  7. - Pundent - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 1:27 pm:

    I’m still not convinced that Irvin voted for Trump. And if he did why so much hesitancy in admitting it? I realize the problems it may cause in the general election, but he’s got a primary to navigate through first. And frankly his reflexive response of “JB Pritzker wants us to talk about that” could insult the very voters he needs to court. Particularly those that are proud of their association with the former President. His attempts to pivot more often than not come off as evasive.


  8. - John Lopez - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 1:30 pm:

    === Richard Irvin: Listen, I’m a Republican. In the general election, I always vote Republican. ===

    So, in the general election, Irvin claims to always vote Republican? Is that straight party Republican ticket voting?

    In the 2020 general election, Irvin’s former law partner, Brittany Pedersen, ran for circuit judge in a countywide election as a Democrat against appointed Circuit Judge Elizabeth Flood.

    So Irvin expects us to believe he voted against Pedersen in the 2020 General Election?

    BTW, Pedersen lost that race, but she’s running for Circuit Judge again, this time in the 1st subcircuit in Aurora, in the Democratic primary.


  9. - Arsenal - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 1:30 pm:

    ==every time I travel throughout the state==

    Given how little he’s campaigning, I wouldn’t really trust his “travel” to keep him well informed about what’s on the voters’ minds.


  10. - Rich Miller - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 1:33 pm:

    ===So WHEN he votes, he always votes republican===

    “In the general election, I always vote Republican.”

    Those are two different things.


  11. - Norseman - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 1:35 pm:

    I don’t buy it. Lying is SOP for GOP candidates.


  12. - Jibba - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 1:36 pm:

    He didn’t answer the question and was happy the interviewer took it as an actual answer.


  13. - Levois J - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 1:36 pm:

    I honestly don’t care who voted for whom. It’s a distraction and I recognize when people hear the name Trump it gets a response…


  14. - SuburbanRepublican - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 1:36 pm:

    Doesn’t mean he voted Trump. I voted straight Republican for all races after the Presidential. It’s a difficult position for him to be in given how much support the former President has in the GOP today. We’ll see what happens 6 weeks from tomorrow.


  15. - SWIL_Voter - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 1:37 pm:

    Seems like a simple yes or no would be more credible and defensible than whatever this word salad is. My goodness so many words, so little said. I don’t believe he voted for Trump based on this answer. Too many words to give the impression of yes when a simple yes would have sufficed if it were the truth


  16. - The Doc - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 1:40 pm:

    Agreed with illinifan. Not at all sure he voted for Trump, and his response further obfuscates the issue.

    This is too cute by half.


  17. - Grandson of Man - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 1:43 pm:

    “Listen, I’m a Republican. In the general election, I always vote Republican.”

    That still doesn’t answer the question. He could have voted GOP down ticket. He could have voted for Biden and GOP, keeping with always voting GOP in the General.

    But holy Rauner, he is Bruce II with evasion and sticking to canned talking points.


  18. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 1:43 pm:

    “Listen” is a terrible tick.

    Who isn’t listening? The interviewer?

    “I voted for Trump”

    Four words. Pretty simple. None larger than 5 letters.

    It doesn’t hurt or help. It’s like abstract art; it’s how one wants to interpret?


  19. - Bruce( no not him) - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 1:43 pm:

    ” I personally put criminals behind bars” The part he won’t say “I also personally kept criminals from jail”
    ” In the general election, I always vote Republican.”
    The part he won’t (or can’t) say “I voted for Donald Trump”


  20. - Jocko - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 1:46 pm:

    Why say 90 words when two (heck, ONE) is enough?

    As the saying goes, when you’re explaining…you’re losing (your self respect and my interest).


  21. - Rudy’s teeth - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 1:47 pm:

    Richard Irvin has a voice for infomercials. That cadence. Ugh.


  22. - Baloneymous - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 1:57 pm:

    He didn’t say “I voted for Trump” he said he always votes Republican. Those are lawyer weasel words to me, like something that could be interpreted either way or not be considered a lie or lying to oneself.

    And he doesn’t say he supports Trump or his policies either, in this interview anyway, and clearly Bailey does. This doesn’t really change anything other than the reporter can move on.


  23. - Streator Curmudgeon - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 2:05 pm:

    “They don’t want to talk about the fact that…”

    Seems Irvin himself doesn’t want to talk about the fact that he was a defense lawyer, working hard to personally keep criminals OUT of jail.

    Yep. Doesn’t want to talk about it. Doesn’t fit the narrative.


  24. - Lake County Mom - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 2:09 pm:

    Maybe Irvin was too busy winning the war in Iraq while locking up all the criminals in Joliet to remember who he voted for.


  25. - Red Ranger - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 2:16 pm:

    He really shouldn’t go in front of the press or anyone that asks questions. They should show Irvin a menu of all of Ken’s nice homes, let him pick one and go stay there until June 29th, because this little press junket he is on isnt working.


  26. - JS Mill - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 2:21 pm:

    ==“I voted for Trump”

    Four words. Pretty simple. None larger than 5 letters.=

    OW nails it. He didn’t say he voted for trump so he probably didn’t.

    I will give him some grudging credit, he just ignores the question with great fidelity.


  27. - Big Dipper - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 2:21 pm:

    If he doesn’t want this to be the focus of the campaign just answer it directly and move on.


  28. - TheInvisibleMan - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 2:38 pm:

    “If he doesn’t want this to be the focus of the campaign”

    It’s also probably the least bad thing he can have the campaign focused on. Which might also contribute to why he refuses to answer it directly.

    It’s easy to dodge a question to keep it alive, about something that can never really be proven one way or the other - unlike what would happen if the discussion started to focus on his activities as a private practice defense attorney.


  29. - Cheryl44 - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 2:40 pm:

    If he doesn’t want to answer questions maybe he should rethink this campaign.


  30. - Must win - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 2:46 pm:

    Im sorry but blue or red when did your voting become mandatory public knowledge? There’s a reason you go into the booth andcgetva private voting booth, because its is a ” secret ballot”, or its used to be….


  31. - Techie - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 2:51 pm:

    He wants to have his cake and eat it, too. Present a credible front that he is a “real” Republican who voted for Trump on the one hand. On the other, refuse to explicitly say that he did vote for Trump so that Pritzker can’t send out a mailer in the general campaign saying “Hey look, my opponent is a Trump supporter - you really want to vote for him?” (assuming Irvin wins the primary, which I’m still skeptical of).


  32. - Oswego Willy - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 2:51 pm:

    ===when did your voting become mandatory===

    Parties are devolving into cults, one far quicker than the other. Trumpkins demand fealty


  33. - Fayette County - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 3:26 pm:

    He always complains about the Trump question but never gives a clear answer. This is as close as I have seen and I still don’t know what the answer is.


  34. - Arsenal - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 3:51 pm:

    ==Im sorry but blue or red when did your voting become mandatory public knowledge? ==

    It happened right before you started trying to beat up straw men.

    It’s not that it’s “mandatory” for him to disclose who he voted for, it’s that he’s asking a party to nominate him for Governor, and it’s actually entirely rational for them to ask him to demonstrate his loyalty to that party before they do it.

    This is just like the thing about his past as a criminal defense attorney. Yes, he absolutely can refuse to say who he voted for and represent criminal defendants. And if he does, the worst consequence he’ll face is that he’ll lose an election. Which isn’t even a punishment.

    Seems like a lot of this is based on the idea that he’s entitled to win the election, or at least not have his choices scrutinized.


  35. - vern - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 4:40 pm:

    ===Im sorry but blue or red when did your voting become mandatory public knowledge?===

    Richard Irvin is perfectly free to not run for Governor if he doesn’t want to be asked about his political opinions. He’s also free to run for Governor while refusing to discuss his political opinions, but that leaves us free to think he’s a giant weirdo for doing so. We’re not the ants from The Once and Future King, there’s a spectrum between mandatory and forbidden.


  36. - AlfondoGonz - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 5:25 pm:

    ===when did your voting become mandatory==

    Irving is running for chief executive of the state. Top decision maker. It makes sense people would want to know about decisions he has made.


  37. - Pot calling kettle - Monday, May 16, 22 @ 11:23 pm:

    ===Im sorry but blue or red when did your voting become mandatory public knowledge?===

    When Irvin started sending out fliers questioning who his opponents voted for, it became fair game to ask Irvin who he voted for. No further reasons are necessary; Irvin himself made it an issue.


  38. - Rich Miller - Tuesday, May 17, 22 @ 8:54 am:

    ===When Irvin started sending out fliers questioning who his opponents voted for===

    I think they pointed out first that Irvin had taken Democratic primary ballots. Even so, it’s all fair game now.


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