Illinois GOP governor hopeful Schimpf not worried about trailing in fundraising

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Former State Senator hopes for Republican wave in Illinois

We’re back on the trail of a big governor’s race.

This week on 4 The Record, it’s the Republican primary in Illinois.

All are focused on their enemy number one: Incumbent JB Pritzker.

All of them have very different experience.

At the moment, four men officially launched campaigns.

Illinois State Senator Darren Bailey, businessman Gary Rabine, former Illinois State Senator Paul Schimpf and former police officer Christopher Roper.

Follow the money and you see three of them are more serious contenders.

Filings with the Illinois State Board of Elections show Bailey with the most cash on hand at the end of the second quarter with almost half a million dollars in the bank.

Rabine is just shy of $300,000, Schimpf has more than $100,000 and Roper has less than $300 in campaign cash. 

Schimpf was born on Scott Air Force base near Belleville, Illinois and raised in Waterloo, Illinois, where he still calls home today.

Schimpf graduated from the U.S. Naval Academy and earned a law degree from Southern Illinois University and served in the Marine Corps and climbed the ranks to lieutenant colonel.

He deployed to Iraq in 2005, where he was the chief American adviser for the prosecution of Saddam Hussein.

He retired from the military in 2013 after a 20-year career.

Schimpf is not new to politics.

He worked on the staff of Minnesota Congressman John Kline.

He ran for Illinois Attorney General in 2014 and lost to incumbent Lisa Madigan.

Two years later in 2016, Schimpf ran for the Illinois State Senate and won, representing parts of several counties in the southern part of the state.

Schimpf decided not to run for re-election in 2020, another Republican won his seat.

Illinois’ Republican primary race for governor is already somewhat crowded and it could get more cramped in the months ahead.

Schimpf joined this week’s 4 The Record for a conversation in his quest to be the next governor of Illinois.

Let’s start with the political challenges of simply winning the primary.

There are four candidates in the race so far.

This field could get larger.

People like Congressmen Rodney Davis and Adam Kinzinger come up in conversations as high-profile Republicans who could run.

Schimpf discussed how he distinguishes himself to win in a field that could be half a dozen or more.

Another challenge is money.

Schimpf ranks third of the four candidates officially in the race so far.

Idealistically, money wouldn’t be important, but it is in today’s political environment.

Schimpf discussed what it will take to overcome that disadvantage and how much this race in Illinois is a matter of party identity for the Republicans.

Let’s say Schimpf wins the primary and the general election to be the next governor of Illinois.

Schimpf is very likely to be in a situation like the last Republican governor Bruce Rauner, dealing with a legislature with a Democratic majority.

Rauner seemed to take a “my way or the highway” approach.

Schimpf addressed what his approach would be and how he can get what he wants done with Democrats in the legislature.

Watch the video above for the full conversation.

Local 4 News, your local election headquarters, is proud to present 4 The Record, a weekly news and public affairs program focused on the issues important to you.  It’s a program unlike any other here in the Quad Cities. Tune in each Sunday at 10:30 a.m. as Jim Niedelman brings you up to speed on what’s happening in the political arena, from Springfield, Des Moines, Washington, D.C. and right here at home.

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