* I’ve gone over my thoughts on this with subscribers for the past couple of days, so I’ll just post the press release here and y’all can talk about it in comments…
This morning, Senator Sam McCann (C-Plainview) announced that he and Veterans’ Rights Activist Aaron Merreighn (pronounced “marine”) (C-Riverton) would join the Illinois Gubernatorial race as Conservative Party candidates. They will face Democratic nominee J.B. Pritzker and incumbent Republican Governor Bruce Rauner.
“When I announced I was not going to run for Senate, I said the Republican Party under Rauner was unrecognizable to me. Rauner has smeared the reputations of proven conservatives and abandoned the principles that millions of Illinois working families hold dear: economic liberty, traditional values, and law and order,” said McCann. Sen. McCann was first elected to the State Senate in 2010 and decided not to seek reelection as a Republican in 2018. In the legislature, McCann has been an advocate for taxpayers, working people and small businesses, veterans, and common sense.
McCann added, “Illinois deserves a clear choice in November. I am the only conservative in the race, and the only candidate who has stood up to both Rauner and Madigan. Our campaign offers a real chance for Illinois to break free from the politics as usual crowd. Our campaign offers the only choice voters have to take back Illinois.”
McCann tapped Veterans’ Rights Activist Aaron Merreighn as his running mate. The two have worked together on a variety of veterans issues, most notably the Quincy Veterans Home. “Rauner’s handling of the Legionnaires’ outbreak at the Quincy Veterans Homeneedlessly put lives at risk, and his record on veteransissues is nothing short of shameful,” said Aaron Merreighn. “Sadly, it has become symbolic of the failed leadership in Springfield that governs by crisis instead of by common sense.”
Merreighn is a United States Marine Corps combat veteran, serving five tours of duty, including three in Iraq. Following his service to his country, Merreighn worked as a mechanic for a trucking company and for a family business. He now works for the State of Illinois as a Human Resource Representative. “In the Marine Corps, the values you learn lead you to service and helping others. That is why I became an advocate for my buddies, and why I want to serve my fellow Illinoisans as Lt. Governor,” Merreighn added.
McCann and Merreighn must reach the 25,000 signature requirement to make the ballot for the General Election as the Conservative Party candidates. The General Election is November 6, 2018.
…Adding… Some of you are missing the point in comments, so here’s a little context. Check out this contribution to McCann from earlier in the week…
Do you really think that Operating Engineers Local 150 wants to defeat JB Pritzker? Nope.
*** UPDATE 1 *** Posted in the order they were received. Pritzker campaign…
Today, JB Pritzker issued the following statement in response to State Senator Sam McCann entering the race for governor:
“I welcome another voice to the race for governor at this critical time for our state,” said JB Pritzker. “Bruce Rauner is a failed governor who has done untold damage to communities throughout Illinois, and people from across the political spectrum are ready for change. Since announcing this campaign, I have worked to hold Rauner accountable for his failure and I will continue doing so as we bring Illinoisans together to put Springfield back on the side of working families.”
* Rauner campaign…
The Rauner campaign released the following statement in response to Sam McCann’s entry into the Govenor’s race:
“Sam McCann is the worst kind of political opportunist who is only running for Governor to line his own pockets. McCann’s unethical record speaks for itself: he failed to pay his taxes, racked up massive debts, lied about serving in the Marine Corps, and used his campaign account as a personal piggy bank, even buying himself an SUV.”
“Public service should not be for personal gain and Sam McCann’s new ‘campaign’ is just a thinly veiled attempt to profit off of politics.”
- Rauner Campaign Communications Director Will Allison
Sam McCann owns business with more than $200,000 in tax liens from the Internal Revenue Service and Illinois Department of Employment Security. McCann faces several lawsuits for unpaid credit card debt totaling nearly $20,000.
*** UPDATE 2 *** From Senate Republican Leader Bill Brady’s spokesman…
This morning, Sen. Sam McCann offered his resignation from the Illinois Senate Republican Caucus and Leader Brady accepted.
*** UPDATE 3 *** ILGOP…
Sam McCann’s Entry Into Governor’s Race Is His Latest Example Of Self-Dealing And Using Politics For Profit
McCann’s shady record makes him the perfect crook to cut a deal with Pritzker and Madigan
“Sam McCann’s professional and political careers have been devoted to serving himself. Whether it’s lying about serving in the Marines, dodging taxes on his failed business, or treating his campaign funds like a personal piggy bank, McCann will say or do anything just to make a buck.
“Now, McCann is jumping into the governor’s race to play the part of spoiler, hoping to cash in along the way and maybe land a lucrative appointment from Pritzker or Madigan after the election. Sam McCann is the worst kind of politician - one who uses politics for profit.” - Illinois Republican Party Spokesman Aaron DeGroot
Today, State Sen. Sam McCann announced his intention to run as a third-party candidate for Illinois Governor. McCann’s goal? Money for himself – and lots of it. McCann’s campaign has been funded by Madigan-allied labor unions that have already endorsed Pritzker’s campaign for governor.
So why would these same unions back another candidate for governor? To spoil the election. They tried and failed the same dirty tricks in 2014 and it looks like they’re back to their old habits. McCann is taking the opportunity to cash in big time. Public records reveal that McCann treats his campaign fund like his own personal piggy bank, spending hundreds of thousands of dollars on himself and his lifestyle. The potential for even more big checks from unions gives McCann the opportunity to make even more money.
McCann’s time in Springfield has been mired in lies, scandal and self-dealing, which makes him the perfect crook to cut a deal with Madigan and Pritzker in an attempt to spoil the election for Illinois Republicans. Be on the lookout for McCann to receive a lucrative appointment or job from Pritzker or Madigan after the election, but in the meantime, Sam McCann will be exposed for what he is: a crooked politician who uses politics for profit.
Today, Democratic Governors Association spokesman Sam Salustro released the following statement in response to state Senator Sam McCann’s entry into the Illinois governor’s race:
“Today, the nation’s most vulnerable incumbent saw his reelection chances dwindle even further. Bruce Rauner is still reeling from a brutal primary and now he has to deal with an outright revolt from the right. Jeanne Ives voters now have another Republican to vote for in Sen. Sam McCann. It’s no surprise Republicans keep lining up to challenge Rauner – they know that he is a failed governor who has betrayed families across the state.”
*** UPDATE 5 *** House GOP Leader Jim Durkin…
It is no surprise that Sen. McCann sells out the Republican party for his own self-interest.
*** UPDATE 5 *** Ives has said previously that she would vote for Rauner…
Would @JeanneIves consider backing McCann? Looks unlikely. She tells me, “I've already made my statement on the topic. I'm a Republican. That hasn't changed. I'm focused on policy like the pension crisis gobbling up communities like Harvey.” https://t.co/l3ED1RGWgO
Illinois Senate Minority Leader and Bloomington Republican Bill Brady also had harsh words for McCann.
“The Illinois Republican Party didn’t leave Sam McCann,” Brady tweeted Thursday. “He left the Republican Party with his lockstep votes to support Mike Madigan’s agenda of unbalanced budgets and putting the interests of public sector unions ahead of Illinois taxpayers.”