Full Name: Richard Irvin
What office are you seeking? Governor
What offices, if any, have you previously held? Mayor of Aurora, Alderman for Aurora, Republican Precinct Committeeman
Occupation: Mayor of Aurora
Education: Bachelor’s, JD
Campaign Website: irvinbourne.com
What separates you from your opponents?
I enlisted in the Army when I turned 18 to serve the greatest country in the world - and I served as a combat veteran in the first Gulf War. I came back and was the first one in my family to go to college. I put myself through law school to become a prosecutor, an alderman and a mayor – working to make my hometown a better place. I pulled myself up by my bootstraps to be able to live the American Dream.
In Illinois today, crime is out of control. As a prosecutor, I personally put gangsters, drug dealers, and wife beaters behind bars. I was hands-on, going on raids into drug houses. As Mayor of Aurora, we defeated the local Defund the Police movement. We stood with law enforcement and hired more cops. We opposed the criminals and looters who damaged property and harmed cities during the 2020 riots. We didn’t hesitate to call in the National Guard, and we arrested the law-breakers. As governor, I’ll be tough on crime and criminals. I will stand with the brave men and women of our law enforcement and show them I’ve got their backs.
With taxes already out of control and inflation rising, we need a governor with a record of cutting spending to lower taxes. As Mayor of Aurora, we eliminated wasteful spending, balanced the city budget every year and made government more efficient. We fought for property tax relief and worked hard to spark economic growth. It’s time to stop the Pritzker- Madigan tax hikes and spending sprees that have dragged our state into the ground. As governor, I’ll work to cut taxes, deliver property tax relief, and balance the state’s bloated budget. The era of Madigan-Pritzker tax hikes must come to an end.
Illinois continues to see a parade of elected officials throughout all levels of government face federal indictments. If elected governor, what will you do to bring additional transparency and tougher punishments to politicians who break the public’s trust?
Today we see the long-time Speaker of the House, Mike Madigan, under indictment for corruption and a governor who stood by his side for years. J.B. Pritzker gave nearly $10 million to Madigan funds, made 35 patronage hires that Madigan requested, and gave a taxpayer funded bailout to Madigan’s allies. With Pritzker as Governor, Madigan still runs Illinois.
I’ll fight for term limits to get rid of Springfield career politicians in both parties. I’ll fight for fair maps so voters get to choose their politicians instead of politicians choosing their voters with unfair lines. J.B. Pritzker campaigned on fair maps for Illinois, and said he opposed backdoor political gerrymandering. But again, he broke his promise and stood with Springfield politicians and signed the most politically gerrymandered maps in the history of our state.
Do Illinois taxpayers pay too much in income tax?
Yes. As governor, I will work to control spending and cut taxes permanently. J.B. Pritzker is the tax hiker in chief of the state of Illinois. He spent millions of his own dollars trying to pass the largest income tax hike in the history of our state: nearly $4 billion per year in higher taxes, $37 billion over 10 years. Pritzker’s latest budget increases state spending with money we won’t have when the federal bailout runs out, setting up another push to raise taxes after the election.
As mayor of Aurora, I worked to cut wasteful spending and promote government efficiencies to return money to the taxpayers. As governor, I’ll do the same - fighting for fiscal discipline and lower taxes.
Should the wealthiest Illinois residents pay more or less in taxes. Please explain.
With taxes already high and inflation out of control, the hardworking families, small business owners and family farmers across this state need us to come together to control spending and cut taxes. We can absolutely make that happen – lowering taxes for all families in Illinois. According to news reports, billionaire J.B. Pritzker hides his fortune in the Bahamas to avoid paying U.S. and Illinois taxes. He’s also under investigation for property tax fraud. It’s time to vote out a tax-avoiding billionaire who campaigns to raise taxes on everyone in Illinois.
Name one example of wasteful government spending that you would seek to eliminate as governor.
Madigan to put billions of dollars in secret projects into a state capital construction law with at least $144 million in projects directly tied to Madigan. I believe all projects identified in the BGA report should be suspended until Governor Pritzker releases all communications since 2019 between his office and the Department of Transportation, his office and Madigan’s office, and the Department of Transportation and Madigan’s office. This is the kind of corruption that Illinois has become known for under J.B. Pritzker and Mike Madigan, and it’s just one more reason to show Pritzker the door in November.
What is your assessment of Illinois’ response to the coronavirus pandemic? Would you have done anything different?
Governor Pritzker made a terrible mistake by ruling by executive decree throughout the pandemic – shuttering businesses, devastating livelihoods and taking away decision- making rights from parents and local communities. When the pandemic hit, all we got from J.B. Pritzker was a shut-down order. In Aurora, we were on our own to find PPE for our frontline workers and provide financial relief to struggling family businesses. As governor, my priority will always be local control, especially protecting the rights of parents to make decisions for their children.
Have you been vaccinated against COVID-19? Which immunization did you receive?
I had COVID early in the pandemic, and I’m now fully vaccinated.
What is your position on mask- mandates and vaccination requirements to go certain places in public?
I oppose such state mandates. We need to allow local communities and – most importantly – parents to make these decisions..
What is your position on mask- mandates and vaccination requirements at workplaces?
Again, I oppose such state mandates.
What will you do to bring uniformity to the state’s response if and when the pandemic reignites, or a new one emerges?
I would do what J.B. Pritzker failed to do - consult with the General Assembly and local governments instead of ruling the state as a dictator.
Illinois residents are experiencing higher prices in most aspects of life, but especially at the grocery store and the gas station. As governor, what will you do to help?
J.B. Pritzker supported the reckless spending in Washington that has fueled the highest inflation rates in 40 years. Even worse, he raised taxes and continues to push the largest income tax hike in Illinois history. People in Illinois need real relief, not election-year gimmicks. We should cut Illinois income taxes permanently and do everything we can to deliver property tax relief. I’ve also supported measures to get property taxes under control. I also support legislation cosponsored by Avery Bourne, our candidate for lieutenant governor, to cap the sales tax on gasoline in Illinois - a move that would ease the pain at the pump much more than J.B. Pritzker’s latest gimmick.
What is your plan to stimulate local businesses on Main Streets throughout the state that were hurt during the pandemic?
When J.B. Pritzker ordered our businesses to close their doors, we worked quickly in Aurora to provide local businesses with the support they needed. But local governments can only do so much when Springfield keeps trying to raise taxes on small businesses. Cutting income taxes and delivering property tax relief will be an enormous help to small businesses in Illinois – and give them the support they need to recover from the pandemic.
Did Joe Biden win the 2020 election fairly?
Joe Biden is the president, but this campaign is to decide who should be governor of Illinois and what kind of future we want. J.B. Pritzker doesn’t want to talk about his anti-police, pro- criminal policies that are letting violent crime skyrocket in Illinois. Pritzker doesn’t want to talk about his campaign for the largest income tax hike in Illinois history, or his steadfast support for Mike Madigan.
What is your position on the Jan. 6, 2021 riot at the U.S. Capitol? Was it an insurrection?
I support peaceful protesting, but anyone who breaks the law should be rightfully prosecuted. This is a race for governor of Illinois, and voters are understandably shocked by J.B. Pritzker’s decision to side with criminals over communities and police. Pritzker signed the most anti-police, pro-criminal law in history. He supports cashless bail, anonymous complaints to ruin police careers, letting violent criminals skip their electronic monitoring for 48 hours - and he endorsed radical Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx. As mayor of Aurora, I opposed the criminals and looters who damaged property and harmed cities during the summer of 2020. We didn’t hesitate to call in the National Guard. We shut down roads to keep out-of-state thugs from trashing the city, and we arrested the law-breakers.
Should people convicted of a crime related to their participation in the Jan. 6 riot ever be pardoned?
Anyone who breaks the law should be rightfully prosecuted. This is a race for governor of Illinois, and the pardons, commutations, early releases and paroles granted by J.B. Pritzker and his radical Prisoner Review Board are beyond reason. Pritzker let seven convicted murders out of prison early, including a woman who shot her 21-month-old son in the head and a man who beat his five-month-old son to death. Pritzker’s hand-picked parole board even voted to let cop killers out of jail and back into our communities – against the wishes of the officers’ families. It’s disgusting and one more reason we need a change in November.
Does Illinois have a crime problem?
To say that Illinois has a “crime problem” would be the understatement of the century. Illinois has a crime epidemic, propelled by J.B. Pritzker’s anti-police, pro-criminal policies. Crime has exploded under J.B. Pritzker’s watch. He protects criminals instead of victims. He respects criminals instead of the police. In 2021, Chicago experienced its deadliest year in 25 years, with more murders than any other city in America. Cook County exceeded 1,000 murders, and Illinois’ crime rate continues to surpass the national rate.
Violent crimes aren’t just statistics – behind every violent crime is a victim, and it’s time to stand up for victims, not criminals. It’s time to PROTECT and RESPECT the law- abiding citizens of Illinois, not the violent criminals of Illinois. That’s what I did as a criminal prosecutor, working hands-on with police to put criminals behind bars—including gangsters, drug dealers, and wife beaters. That’s what I did as mayor of Aurora, increasing funding for the police and putting more cops on the street to make our city safer. That is what I’ll do as governor of Illinois.
Should Illinois reinstate the death penalty in murder cases?
I support the death penalty, but the burden for it needs to be as high as possible.
Is Illinois’ Firearm Owner Identification law constitutional?
Law-abiding citizens have a constitutional right to own guns, and I support that right like I support our other Constitutional rights. I own guns and I will support people’s right to legally purchase and own guns after a background check. J.B. Pritzker’s FOID backlog is completely unacceptable and must be fixed.
What is your stance on the 2nd Amendment? Should there be stricter gun laws in Illinois?
Law-abiding citizens have a constitutional right to own guns, and I support that right like I support our other Constitutional rights.
Are there any aspects of Illinois’ public schools’ curriculum that you think need to be changed? Please explain.
In general, these are issues that should be resolved on the local level by the parents of a given school district.
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services has had a number of issues in recent years including caseworkers missing signs of abuse and the agency’s director being held in contempt of court multiple times. What is wrong with that agency, and what will you do to fix it?
It’s heartbreaking to see a state agency repeatedly endanger the lives of our most vulnerable children. The public has a right to know how long J.B. Pritzker has known of the horrific problems inside his agency and why he defends his hand- picked director who continues to be found in contempt of court. This isn’t a partisan issue; it’s an issue of incompetence, corruption and lack of compassion. We need new leadership at the top in Illinois to fix the problems at DCFS.