Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner’s staff continues to undergo major changes following a series of resignations and firings in the past week.
Many of the Republican’s top advisors have either been fired or quit since lawmakers overrode Rauner’s veto of a state budget earlier this month. He’s replaced some of them with staffers from from Illinois Policy Institute, a libertarian think tank.
Speaking at an unrelated news conference in Rockford, Rauner was asked if his new staff choices are a signal he’s shifting even further to the right.
“I would say absolutely not. I’m not shifting anything,” Rauner said. “I’ve been clear. I’ve been saying the same thing for four and a half years. And I’m fighting for the exact same thing every single day. And that’s not changing, that’s not shifting at all.”
On Monday, one new assistant hired by Rauner’s staff was fired on his first day after Politico Illinois reported that he had tweeted homophobic slurs and questioned whether body slamming reporters was the way for Republicans to win in Illinois.
Rauner’s new chief spokeswoman, Laurel Patrick, said in a statement that the tweets are “unacceptable.”
When Rauner first became governor, he hired several staffers who worked for U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk. Kirk lost his re-election campaign in 2016, but he often said Republicans win in Illinois by being moderate.