“The governor has no path to victory. Bruce Rauner is done. He cannot win,” said State. Rep. Peter Breen.
He’s the Republican floor leader in the Illinois House and he's now leading a revolt of social conservatives against the party's governor.
It’s political fallout from Bruce Rauner's surprise decision to sign into law an abortion rights bill he previously promised to veto.
But the governor's Republican critics are now offering other reasons to reject him.
Lombard’s State Rep. Peter Breen claims that only after Gov. Rauner was excluded from the face-to-face bargaining did other Republicans finally achieve the most basic agreements with democrats in the state capitol.
“When you look at everything from the budget negotiations and a range of other issues, he is at the point now where he can no longer be in the room where they are negotiating agreements with the general assembly,” Breen said.
An outspoken pro-life Republican, Breen insists his unhappiness with Gov. Rauner's leadership goes far beyond the abortion issue.
Some party activists were stunned by Rauner's decision to sign the so-called "Trust Act." They complain it made Illinois a sanctuary state by prohibiting local law enforcement from working in some cases with U.S. immigration and customs agents. Others are offended by Rauner's public posture on President Trump.
“He won't say President Trump's name. Won’t even acknowledge his existence,” said State Rep. David McSweeney.
A former state party chairman, though, says Rauner's unorthodox approach has worked for other Republicans in heavily Democratic Illinois.
“We see what model actually works in this state with Jim Edgar, who was three terms who was pro-choice. Judy Baar Topinka, Mark Kirk. I know a lot of the people on the right get angry with that. But we've gotta be realistic about the state we live in,” Pat Brady said.
Those leading this Republican revolt against Gov. Rauner know they face a tight timetable and time is not on their side. They need to find a candidate for governor, a running mate for Lt. Governor and collect thousands of signatures by Dec. 4th. Not to mention raising the several million dollars needed to run a credible campaign.
Although Gov. Rauner has not yet announced whether he will seek re-election, allies are collecting signatures on his nominating petitions.