The Republican candidate challenging Gov. Bruce Rauner vowed Sunday to return a financial contribution after a campaign staffer retweeted a supportive message from a Twitter account that also contains Nazi propaganda.
Republican gubernatorial candidate Jeanne Ives’ campaign removed the message Sunday from her Twitter feed. Later, it tweeted the following note: “We had a staffer re-tweet this message without realizing who this individual was. It has been removed. We repudiate him. Disavow any endorsement and are returning any contribution.”
The campaign had retweeted a note that read, in part, “I don8d $1k 2 @JeanneIves 2 defeat @BruceRauner in illinois gubernatorial race.” It also said, “luv this campaign ad” and included a link to Ives’ controversial new spot targeting the transgender community and illegal immigrants, among others.
That message came from an account containing anti-Semitic messages and a cover photo of a man holding out his hand in what appeared to be a Nazi salute. The owner of the account could not immediately be reached for comment.
A spokeswoman for Ives’ campaign did not immediately respond to a call seeking comment.
Ives’ new ad marked a sharp public shift to the right in Ives’ campaign after she gained new attention with a successful debate performance against Rauner at the Chicago Tribune. However, Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider said Ives should pull the ad and “immediately apologize to the Illinoisans who were negatively portrayed in a cowardly attempt to stoke political division.”
Among several speakers in the ad targeting Rauner are people who appear to be a transgender person, a Chicago Teachers Union member and a Women’s March participant.
“Thank you for legislation that lets me use the girls’ bathroom,” says one person dressed in a red dress.
Contributing: Tina Sfondeles