I will grow our economy for working families.

Answer

Pritzker failed to help overtaxed Illinoisans struggling to pay their bills. With unemployment reaching record levels due to the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 2 million Illinoisans have needed unemployment assistance. Yet when they tried to contact IDES for help, they had to endure months of frustrating busy signals, dropped calls, and delayed benefits. A year later, the average IDES callback time is still over a month.

I will grow our economy for working families. Illinois families are struggling under the highest combined tax burden in the country, especially our sky-high property taxes, and businesses and families are fleeing our state. I will re-ignite our economy by ending Pritzker’s failed tax-and-spend policies and supporting our small businesses, manufacturers, and family farmers.

I am the only candidate for governor, from either party, who can relate to middle-income and working families.

Governor Pritzker was a billionaire before he was even born. While Pritzker was ripping the toilets out of his Gold Coast Mansion to cheat on his property taxes, I was moving my family from duty station to duty station in service of our country. While Pritzker was hiding his wealth overseas to avoid paying taxes, I was overseas leading the prosecution of Saddam Hussein. Even my Republican primary opponents inherited multimillion-dollar corporations and 12,000 acre corporate farms. They’re all living in completely different realities than the rest of us.

Meanwhile, I grew up in a middle-class family. Both of my parents were public school teachers. I worked hard in school to get into the US Naval Academy and spent 24 years serving in the military. Every success I’ve had has been earned, not inherited. I understand the challenges that middle-class Illinoisans face because I’ve faced them too. I understand what it’s like to wake up in the middle of the night wondering how you’re going to pay for your kids’ education.

Pritzker has proven how out-of-touch he is with the struggles of Illinois families by failing to solve the problems at the Illinois Department of Employment Security (IDES). With unemployment reaching record levels due to the COVID-19 pandemic, nearly 2 million Illinoisans have needed unemployment assistance. Yet when they tried to contact IDES for help, they had to endure months of frustrating busy signals, dropped calls, and delayed benefits. After a year of nonstop excuses from Governor Pritzker, IDES’s callback times are actually getting worse, with the average callback time now over a month.

This is a complete, unacceptable failure by Governor Pritzker. With Illinoisans struggling through the pandemic, the least our governor could do is ensure unemployed Illinoisans receive the benefits they’re entitled to so they can afford to pay their rent or mortgage, put food on their tables, and send their kids to school.

When I’m elected, working families in Illinois will finally have an ally as their governor. I know our families are struggling under the highest combined tax burden in the country, especially our sky-high property taxes. When I served in Springfield, I voted against every tax increase that passed my desk, and as your governor I will put an end to the Democrats’ addiction to tax hikes on hardworking Illinoisans.

Instead, I will work to grow our economy. Illinois has the talent and resources to be the economic engine of the Midwest, but job creators are fleeing our state because Governor Pritzker’s taxes and regulations have closed Illinois for business. They’re not the only ones leaving Illinois, with a mass exodus of families leading to Illinois seeing the worst population loss in the country during the past decade. I will reignite our economy by ending Pritzker’s failed tax-and-spend policies and supporting our small businesses, manufacturers, and family farmers.

Our state still has tremendous potential, but dysfunctional government and failed leadership from the governor’s mansion is holding us back. As your next governor, I will provide the common sense leadership we desperately need to fix Illinois.