Caulkins says Rauner not helping GOP cause
State Rep.-elect Dan Caulkins, a Republican who will represent the 101st District, is dismayed by Gov. Bruce Rauner's latest revelations.
“It definitely doesn’t show good leadership,” Caulkins told the Chambana Sun. “Even though he’s leaving office, I thought he wanted to try to stay involved in things and help rebuild the party. I can tell you these comments won’t help the cause.”
Rauner recently set off alarm bells by telling ABC News he considered dropping his reelection bid, and he tried to recruit someone to replace him in the Republican field.
Rauner said he talked with at least four people from the “political and business worlds,” former state Sen. Karen McConnaughay and Chicago Cubs part-owner Todd Ricketts among them.
“Even if it’s true, I don’t know how having this discussion now benefits him,” added Caulkins, who knocked off Democratic rival Jen McMillin with nearly 70 percent of the vote. “It’s like he took Rep. (Jeanne) Ives run against him in the primary as a personal affront; then that was the last burst of energy he showed all campaign season.”
In the end, Caulkins said, he finds this as baffling as Rauner’s banter about President Donald Trump’s 2016 candidacy being a negative factor for him and his campaign.
“I presume he’s echoing things he heard about how things went in the collar counties on Election Day,” Caulkins said. “I think it’s just a case of people trying to find an excuse for not winning instead of being introspective. Down here, we find Trump to be very popular, while the governor’s ability to take on any Democrat was greatly diminished by all the kinds of people he surrounded himself with.”
The 101st House District spans parts of Champaign, DeWitt, Macon, McLean and Piatt counties.