ILLINOIS (WMBD) — Making a run for Governor, former State Sen. Paul Schimpf (R-IL) is hoping to unseat Gov. J.B. Pritzker in November 2022.

He spoke with WMBD’s Matt Sheehan one-on-one about his run against Gov. Pritzker, but first, he needs to secure the Republican nomination.

Schimpf said his platform is based on three things.

“What I’m running on is responsible government, safe communities, and economic growth through the free market,” Schimpf said. “What I mean by responsible government really is a government in Illinois that’s doing what it’s supposed to be doing. We should not be passing laws in Illinois unless it’s done in a transparent manner where people know what the legislation is before they vote on it.”

Schimpf said he wants the Illinois government to recognize the state’s budget deficit and to stop increasing spending.

“Lastly, we need to get back to the idea that local officials are going to be able to make decisions. I think local elected officials are the ones that are best-suited to make decisions about our children’s education and about public safety. That’s really a big difference between me and Gov. Pritzker is just what the role of government is. I think you need to build from the ground up, Gov. Pritzker thinks you need to build from the government down, a very top-down approach with an expanse to state governor, I disagree with that philosophy,” Schimpf said.

In 2018, incumbent Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner was defeated by current Gov. J.B. Pritzker.

Currently, there are three Republican candidates for governor, but more are expected to join the race. The three are Paul Schimpf, Gary Rabine, and Darren Bailey (R-Louisville).

During On the Record, Schimpf explained how he plans to secure the Republican nomination.

“I think there may be some other Republicans running as well. I think that’s a good thing. I think it sends a message that a lot of people believe that Gov. Pritzker is beatable and I think if you have a lot of Republicans running, a lot more people are gonna get the message that J.B. Pritzker has been a catastrophic failure as governor,” Schimpf said.

Schimpf said winning as a Republican in Illinois comes down to three things.

“You have to be able to reunify our Republican party, you have to give the voters a contrast between yourself and J.B. Pritzker, that’s not just a policy contrast, that needs to be a life story contrast as well. The third thing you have to do to win as a Republican in Illinois is you have to get crossover votes. I think I’m the Republican candidate who can do those three things. I’m confident that when the voters take a look at the Republicans who are running in Illinois, I think they’re gonna believe I’m the candidate who can beat Gov. Pritzker,” Schimpf added.

Schimpf said Illinois’ number one challenge is its spending problem.

“You look at the budget that Gov. Pritzker passed 2 years ago, it was his first year in office, he touted a fact it was a bipartisan budget. A lot of the Republican leadership voted for it, I did not. The reason I did not vote for that budget is because it increased spending across the board,” Schimpf said. “We had record revenue coming in, but anywhere we could increase spending, we did increase spending. That just doesn’t reflect the reality that Illinois has a spending problem, not a revenue problem. We need to get our spending under control, it’s something the people of Illinois expect us to do and it’s something I’m going to make my number one priority as governor.”

Schimpf said while taxes are a big issue in Illinois, state officials need to focus on the spending problem first.

“The tax issue is something we just had a big state debate on. Gov. Pritzker had his graduated tax hike amendment he wanted to pursue, the voters, both Democrats and Republicans alike decisively rejected that idea that we were going to raise taxes,” Schimpf said.

The former state senator said the state needs to cut spending or at least “hold the line on spending.”

“We had an opportunity a couple of years ago when we had record revenues coming in and instead of showing a little bit of restraint and trying to get our financial house in order, we spent practically every last dime that was coming in. We do have to show restraint, but it has to be a collaborative effort. We’re gonna have to come together,” Schimpf said.

That is where Schimpf said his new leadership will play a part. He thinks he can work with lawmakers across the aisle.

“We need someone who can work together across the political and social spectrum. I was a State Senator for four years, but before that, I spent my adult life in the Marine Corps. If you’re gonna be successful in the military, you have to be able to work with people across the political and social spectrum. You can’t be afraid of tackling challenges,” Schimpf said. “I’m gonna bring leadership to the table. That’s probably my biggest contribution I can bring to the State of Illinois to try and solve our States problems in a manner where we try to work together and rely on solutions and not political power to ram stuff through.”

The 58th Senate District is right outside of St. Louis on the Illinois side and goes from Cahokia down South to Chester and Wine Hill.

WMBD made contact with State Sen. Darren Bailey’s people in an effort to set up an interview with him regarding his run for governor. WMBD also reached out to Gary Rabine and has not yet heard back.

WMBD also reached out to Gov. Pritzker’s Office multiple times and has not received correspondence.

The schedule for On the Record is as follows below:

3/9/21 at 6:20 a.m. — Democratic Candidate for the 18th Congressional District Michael Swanson.