With public safety at the center of the Illinois gubernatorial primaries, Republicans running for the chance to face Gov. JB Pritzker this fall are trying to bolster their credentials in the weeks ahead.
While there are many differences between the candidates running, they all argue that Pritzker and the Illinois Democrats went too far when they approved a sweeping criminal justice reform bill in the US. State.
Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin, who came out on a platform that heavily emphasizes his support for law enforcement, appeared Wednesday at a campaign event with the president of the ‘Chicago Police Fraternal Order, John Catanzara.
“We can take back this state, and it starts on June 28,” he said.
Irvin was also endorsed by Illinois Troopers Lodge 41, a group representing more than 3,200 active and retired Illinois State Police Troopers.
Some of Irvin’s Republican opponents disagree with his arguments that he is in the best position to fight crime in the state, including attorney Jesse Sullivan.
“Violent crime is up 40% in the city of Aurora. Aggravated assault is up 38%,” he said in an interview with NBC 5’s Mary Ann Ahern. increased by 129%. That’s not a good crime record.
Irvin also ran ads discussing his response to the looting and rioting incidents in Aurora in May 2020, but State Sen. Darren Bailey says his opponent misrepresented his actions during those unrest.
“When the riots broke out in Aurora, he told the police to stand down,” Bailey said. “And nobody talks about it.”
Authorities imposed a curfew on the incident, which saw individuals engage in violent clashes with police following the shooting of George Floyd in Minnesota.
Even though the candidates disagree on their respective records, they have all expressed a desire to repeal HB 3653. This bill, signed by Pritzker, diverts low-level drug offenses to substance abuse programs and also making progress toward ending cash bail in the state. . The bill also sets new standards for police use of force and emphasizes different tactics in police training.
Irvin, who has been critical of crime in Chicago, criticized states attorney Kim Foxx’s filing, saying she was too lenient in setting bail for those charged with violent crimes.
“Unfortunately, we have a state attorney who refuses to do his job and actually prosecutes the criminals,” he said.
Both Bailey and Sullivan noted that Irvin was present when Pritzker signed a bill amending the state’s gun owner ID card program, which most Republican candidates in the field will are committed to cancel.
“(Irvin) applauded JB Pritzker for passing the security act,” Bailey said. “What’s wrong with that?”
“He was a passionate supporter of Black Lives Matter,” Sullivan added. “When police cars were set on fire, he said he was ‘confused’ about whether to act.”
Irvin, who said during the campaign that he does not support Black Lives Matter, defended his record on FOID legislation.
“Those FOID map changes that Pritzker talked about weren’t enough to get past what we needed to fix,” he said. “It’s broken, and when I’m governor, I’ll fix it.”