Maria Rodriguez is running with State Senator Bill Brady, after a change in Illinois law allowed lieutenant governor candidates to run on the same ticket as candidates for Governor, instead of separately.
Rodriguez says she was initially invited to be billionaire businessman Bruce Rauner’s running mate, but just couldn’t do it.
“I removed my name from consideration with Bruce Rauner, because I did not feel comfortable that…I could put my reputation next to him,” Rodriguez said. “I don’t believe he’s qualified at this time to govern in our state.”
Rauner is the only candidate for Governor to not visit Galesburg during the election cycle, and reportedly hasn’t even responded to invitations to visit.
Rodriguez says she gave a second look at running for Lieutenant Governor partly because of what Brady had to offer, but partly because she sees parallels between the Illinois of now, and the Illinois of the Ronald Reagan presidential administration.
“We had double-digit inflation, we had a nuclear threat — it wasn’t Iran, it was the Soviet Union,” Rodriguez said. “We had immigration issues, we had the Haitian boat people, we had all of these same challenges we have now. Yet, we saw how leadership could bring about unprecedented prosperity.”
Rodriguez says while Brady is currently polling third, the momentum is in her camp’s favor.