ILLINOIS (WMBD) — It’s crunch time for all Illinois Governor candidates.
Each one has just days to get their message out to Illinoisans.
Venture capitalist Jesse Sullivan joined WMBD’s Matt Sheehan for On the Record this week. They discussed the final stretch to June 28.
Question: We’re just days away from the Primary election. Different polls are showing Darren Bailey in the lead, and some of your internal polls show you in the lead. What are you doing these next few days to get the Republican nomination?
“So many people are just tuning into the race right now and so many others are trying to figure it out from all the misinformation and lies that have been put out there by the Irvin camp, by the DGA and Pritzker. For us it’s about spreading the positive message we’ve been spreading all along. Which is Illinois needs an outsider, someone who does not owe anyone anything in this corrupt, insider system. That’s what I represent. An outsider from central Illinois, grew up working on a farm, got to serve over in Afghanistan as an Army Civilian. Setting up local police forces, we’re going to make our state safe. I’ve also been doing business. I know how to create the jobs of the future right here in Illinois. People really want to hear a message of positivity, a vision. Who can actually be a conservative fighter for Illinois who can win this race,” Sullivan said.
Question: There are six candidates running on the Republican side. What do you think sets you apart from the other five?
“This is coming down to two people, Darren Bailey and myself. It really comes down to who can win and who can lead. On the question of who can win, JB Pritzker obviously feels like he has a much better shot against Darren Bailey because he’s running millions of dollars of ads in his favor,” Sullivan said. “Bailey actually co-sponsored a bill to separate Chicago from the rest of the state. We’ve doubled his numbers up in Chicago. We’re the campaign that can actually win in central Illinois, southern Illinois, and up in Chicago. For me, it’s about being a conservative fighter. I have never raised taxes, I’ve never been a politician. Darren Bailey raised property taxes 14 times. He refuses to sign a taxpayers protection pledge. I’ve signed this pledge saying “I refuse to raise taxes on the people of Illinois.” I’m going to lower the gas tax, I’m going to lower the grocery tax, the property tax needs to be lower. It’s the highest in the nation. I’m also going to be fighting for kids. There’s been an indoctrination in our schools, this sexual and racial ideology. I refuse to allow that to happen. Darren Bailey has said “ya know, if local school districts want to teach CRT or this sexual ideology,” he’ll let them. I will not. So those are some major differences between us. People want a Conservative outsider who can win this race.”
Question: If you win the Primary, then you beat Gov. Pritzker in November, what’s your day-one agenda?
“Number one, signing executive order to say “no more mask mandates,” “no more vaccine mandates.” We are going to be the free state of Illinois again. If you want the Ron Desantis of the Midwest, someone who’s going to be a fighter for our values, that’s me. I’m also going to clean house at the Illinois State Board of Education. We have to get this indoctrination out of our schools and get values back in. Also, clean house at the Prisoner Review Board. Then we’re going to run agencies well,” Sullivan said.
“I’m a foster parent. My wife and I have 7 kids including our 2 foster children. We’ve seen up close and personal how 20,000 of our most vulnerable kids need our help. They need these agencies to be run well. That’s the background I come from, the business side. We’re going to bring that business efficiency in. But most importantly, we’re going to bring values back to our government. I’m from Petersburg, an hour south of Peoria, I love these values of faith, family, service. We’re gonna get faith values and family values back in our government again,” he added.
Question: And if it is you against Pritzker, would you want to face him in a televised debate?
“Absolutely. I don’t think anybody creates a better juxtaposition than JB Pritzker and myself. He’s a billionaire and has been a political insider. He helped fund Mike Madigan’s campaign. Mike Madigan was ruining Illinois long before I was even alive. I’m a next generation conservative who’s stepping in. JB Pritzker wants to remove faith and family values from our society, I want to bring them back in. I am strongly pro-life, I am strongly pro second amendment. We cannot be more opposite. I think the people of Illinois want someone who can actually beat JB Pritzker, make the argument up in Chicago as well as Downstate. I can speak in Spanish, yo puedo hablar en espanol. We’re going to win over all sorts of Reagan Democrats, Trump Independents, next generation conservatives to actually beat JB Pritzker,” Sullivan said.
Question: Donald Trump’s coming to Illinois Saturday. Darren Bailey has been very vocal about how he wants Trump’s endorsement. But from talking to multiple candidates this week, it seems a few campaigns are in the running for it. Is his official endorsement something you want?
“I would love his endorsement, but honestly the main endorsement I want as the political outsider, is the endorsement of the people of Illinois. My neighbors. I want them to see me as someone who can be a non-politician, really an anti-politician who can bring this American First agenda and make it an Illinois First agenda. That’s what I want to do,” Sullivan said. “Donald Trump’s policies compared to Joe Biden’s when it comes to the economy, gas prices, the border, supporting law enforcement, pushing back against the extremes of the far left. All of those were the right policies and I am going to be the fighter to bring those America First policies into Illinois.”
Question: I have a 2-part question here. If you don’t get the Republican nomination, will you commit to supporting whichever candidate wins? Is there any candidate in the running you wouldn’t support?
“Richard Irvin has been found to be a fraud. He’s not a true Conservative. He’s supported Black Lives Matter, sanctuary cities, COVID restriction and lock-downs. Pay-to-play politics. His top donors being the ones who receive the top contracts in his city. I would not be supporting Richard Irvin, but I don’t think he’s in the running anymore anyway. He’s dropped so low. Most people who supported him, just did from an electability standpoint. Who could beat Pritzker? Well now they’re jumping into our campaign. They are seeing us as the campaign that can actually beat JB Pritzker. I hope everyone out there votes on June 28th. If you really want a fighter for your kids, for faith and family values, then please come out and vote for us. Tell your friends and lets actually take back this state and get the Land of Lincoln values back in our government again.”
WMBD has interviewed each Gubernatorial candidate on the Republican side and Governor J.B. Pritzker.
You can find different links in this article to hear from each candidate.
WMBD reached out to Pritzker’s Primary opponent, Beverly Miles, multiple times for an interview. Interest was expressed to come on for an interview, but then communication from Miles stopped completely. This happened multiple times over the last few months.
The Illinois Primary Election is on June 28th.