IL governor's race means attack ads on both sides — in July

SHARE IL governor's race means attack ads on both sides — in July

In Illinois’ gubernatorial contest, the season of attack ads has started early.

On Wednesday, a new TV ad targeting Bruce Rauner talks about the Republican candidate’s wealth and his past stances on taxes.

“Bruce Rauner pays less, but wants us to pay more?” The group behind the ad is Illinois Freedom PAC, which is funded by a coalition of union groups. The same political action committee launched a series of attack ads against Rauner in the Republican primary.

The ad comes just after Rauner’s camp launched its “broken promises” ad last week, targeting incumbent Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn.

By both candidates having a TV presence up this early, they are keeping the other side from not only defining them — but destroying them by the time election season really heats up in the fall.

That’s happened before in an Illinois governor’s race. Most notably in the 2006 campaign when former Gov. Rod Blagojevich launched a series of TV attack ads against challenger Judy Baar Topinka with the catchphrase: “What’s she thinking?” Blagojevich handily defeated Topinka, who was unable to overcome a sizable lead he built up early on.

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