Tax hike shakes up dynamics in 2018 Illinois governor race

From the Chicago Tribune: The template for the 2018 Illinois governor’s race had long been set — Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner linking House Speaker Michael Madigan to the Democratic nominees, while Democrats try to tie the governor to President Donald Trump.

Then Madigan and Democratic lawmakers led the override of Rauner’s vetoes of a major income tax increase and budget, ending a more than two-year impasse of historic proportions. Now, the dynamic has changed for the Republican chief executive as well as his potential Democratic challengers.

All re-election campaigns are a referendum on the officeholder, and Rauner’s will be no exception. But a powerful tool that Democrats had been using against him — contending the stalemate was a symbol of his failure to govern — could be a tougher sell to voters. Even if Rauner didn’t play a role in making it happen, state government is funded, some money has been restored to social service providers who have seen the safety net for Illinois’ most vulnerable torn to tatters, and the state plans to start whittling down a giant pile of unpaid bills.

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