U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood (R-Peoria) isn’t pledging support for the 2018 gubernatorial race just yet.
One of the big thorns in the side for LaHood is the controversial abortion bill Gov. Bruce Rauner signed recently. The bill, known as HB40, specifies that certain abortions will be covered under taxpayer funds throughout Illinois.
“I was and continue to be very disappointed that Governor (Bruce) Rauner signed HB40 allowing taxpayer funded abortions throughout the state of Illinois,” LaHood said in a written response to a question from The State Journal-Register. “I am currently focused on my own re-election to the 18th Congressional District. I plan to wait and see who ends up filing to run for governor before making any decision on an endorsement.”
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner
Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) is vying for the GOP nomination for governor. William Kelly, of Chicago, is also seeking the GOP nod.
Meanwhile, LaHood, who is running unchallenged in the March 20 primary, said that Rauner has not asked for his endorsement, according to a Peoria Journal Star. The Peoria politician says he is open to discussions with the sitting governor before he pledges his support for a candidate.
“I would be happy to meet with him and give him every consideration,” LaHood said according to the Journal Star. “I believe it was a mistake to sign HB40, and I want assurances moving forward that he’s not going to make this kind of mistake again ... because I think that’s going to hurt him.”
LaHood will face opposition from Democrat Junius Rodriguez of Eureka in November. Rodriguez unsuccessfully challenged LaHood in 2016.
According to a recent news statement, Rauner flip-flopped on the bill and went against party lines on the controversial abortion topic due to his conversations with women, specifically those with low incomes.
“They deserve to have a choice as much as anyone else,” Rauner said in late September, when he signed the measure, according to the Journal Star.