By Dave Dahl
SPRINGFIELD – Most or all top Republicans in Illinois say the state needs a Gov. Richard Irvin.
So much so that when the subject came up at an unrelated news conference Thursday, House Minority Leader Jim Durkin (R-Western Springs) twice – committing a “Freudian slip” – referred to “Gov. Irvin.”
The support from establishment Republicans comes despite accusations the Aurora mayor is not a real Republican and his alleged inability to articulate his stands during a news conference. But Durkin says the one question for voters suggests Irvin’s key attribute.
“Who is the one Republican who is going to be the greatest competition to (incumbent Gov.) JB Pritzker in November?” Durkin asked. “And it’s Richard Irvin.
“That is why there has been $8 million of Democrat money spent attacking Richard Irvin. What does that tell you, from the (Democratic Governors Association) coming into a Republican primary. They don’t want Richard Irvin, and they are going to do anything they can, working with Darren Bailey (a state senator who is one of Irvin’s rivals in the race) and his crew, to stop Richard Irvin from succeeding.”
Besides, Durkin said, if you are going to call Irvin a RINO (Republican in Name Only) for supporting Democrats in the past, the other candidates are worse.
A recent poll has Irvin and Bailey far ahead of the other Republicans. The primary election is June 28.