Illinois gubernatorial election: Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin talks crime, abortion

Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin announced last month that he’s running for governor of Illinois.

New to statewide politics, the 51-year-old met with FOX 32 News on Thursday in downtown Aurora, not far from the Section 8 townhouse where he grew up – now a part of the story he tells to voters to introduce himself.

"I served in combat, you know, during the Gulf War to protect the interests of our country, to protect our state, the state I joined the military from," Irvin said.

Irvin promised to repeal key parts of a Black Caucus-sponsored criminal justice reform law, including a provision that ends cash bail in 2023. He said the reforms contributed to an increase in violent crime.

Irvin declined to rule out raising taxes or fees himself, but said he would propose some permanent tax cuts. He did not name any specific spending he would eliminate, but said he plans to travel around the state talking to voters and indicted he might unveil spending cuts later in the campaign.

"And I don't want to make empty promises to the residents of Illinois without identifying what the issues are, identifying what can be cut. But we did exactly that as mayor of Aurora," Irvin said.


Irvin said he opposes abortion, but declined to clarify several important points.

"Pro-life," Irvin said. "You know, there are always exceptions: rape, incest, life of the mother."

FOX 32’s political editor Mike Flannery followed up, saying, "You would allow abortion in those circumstances?"

Then, a campaign aide interjected from off-camera. Flannery then again asked whether he would allow abortion in those circumstances?

"Think we're done," Irvin responded.

The campaign, of course, is not done. It's just getting started, which gives Mayor Irvin time to refine his answers – whether it's abortion, taxing, spending or other tough questions.