Batinick addresses Rauner concerns: Republicans must unite to win
State Rep. Mark Batinick (R-Plainfield) said he agrees with Gov. Bruce Rauner about his reelection effort being harder than it had to be, though their reasons differ.
“I think he said something about Donald Trump being a candidate in 2016 made things harder for him,” Batinick told the Will County Gazette. “You can debate that, but I know for a fact signing things like HB 40 into law made it tougher for him.”
Rauner recently turned heads when he claimed during an ABC News interview that he nearly abandoned his reelection campaign, and that he was so serious about it he had even tried to recruit a replacement.
According to reports, Rauner spoke with as many as four possible replacement candidates from the “political and business worlds,” with former state Sen. Karen McConnaughay and Chicago Cubs part-owner Todd Ricketts being among them.
“It’s tough to say how much the idea of him not being all in may have hurt the party’s chance in November,” said Batinick, who managed to hold off Mica Freeman, his Democratic challenger, in the 97th District with 51 percent of the vote. “It was a tough night for Republicans, and I don’t know how much something like that could have made up the deficit.”
Batinick said he was not that surprised to hear Rauner’s revelations, adding it was not the first time he has heard such talk.
“There were rumblings as far back as the summer about him maybe getting out,” he said.
Going forward, Batinick said, Republicans in Springfield need to be totally aligned if they’re going to have any chance of standing up to an overwhelmingly Democratic majority.
“Otherwise, I fear a lot of bad bills coming out of Springfield that will make things harder on businesses and everyone else,” he said. “I think we have to keep voters informed and engaged. Everyone responds to public pressure and we have to keep people in the loop about what’s happening.”
The 97th District includes all or part of Oswego, Plainfield, Troy and Wheatland.