Illinois Republicans are gearing up for Gov. Bruce Rauner’s re-election fight. At a state fair rally Wednesday, they made clear their campaign will focus on one man.
Rauner and other Republicans have spent years — and millions of dollars — demonizing Michael Madigan, the Democratic speaker of the Illinois House.
Heading into the 2018 election, they’re hoping to realize a dividend from that investment.
"We cannot give into Madigan and his Chicago agenda any longer,” said Tim Schneider, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party.
"Our goal is to win the House back, and make Leader Durkin Speaker Durkin in 2018," he said, referring to House Minority Leader Jim Durkin.
To do that, Republican will need to pick up nine seats currently held by Democrats. That won’t be easy, considering that many of the legislative districts they’ll need were drawn to favor Democrats.
Down-ballot races could also be affected by what voters think of President Trump.