May 24, 2022 - Politics

Illinois political ad wars escalate

Photo of the GOP candidates for governor

Republican candidates for Illinois governor are using the airwaves to throw dirt. Photo: Chicago Tribune/Tribune News Service via Getty Images

Here's a quick debrief of the week on the 2022 campaign trail as we get closer to the June 28 primary election.

Driving the news: Is it just us or are we seeing way more of the "that last ad you saw was wrong" commercials on TV this week? Three examples:

1. Democratic secretary of state candidate Anna Valencia ran an attack ad saying her opponent Alexi Giannoulias supported anti-choice candidates in the past.

  • Giannoulias quickly responded, saying he was pro-choice.

2. GOP gubernatorial candidate Richard Irvin suggested Jesse Sullivan was lying about his military record.

3. And the Democratic Governors Association ran an ad saying Irvin was soft on crime.

  • Irvin responded with a slew of police officers refuting those charges.

We aren't getting new ideas from these ads. Instead, they're arguments during commercial breaks.

By the numbers: According to AdImpact, candidates just in the gubernatorial primary spent over $12 million last week on ads. Our colleagues at Axios Raleigh used chicken and waffles to compare how much money was spent in North Carolina on their primary, so we'll substitute for Chicago.

  • That money would pay for:

🐄 1.3 million Al's beefs

ğŸ¥Ž 600,000 brand-new softballs (Clinchers)

🏠 30 two-bedroom condos in Lakeview

One last thing: If there's something we could do without in politics, it's dumb nicknames that are so 2016. But that's not stopping candidates on both sides from using the Trump playbook.

  • Giannoulias is going ugly with a new attack ad calling Valencia "Unethical Anna."
  • GOP gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey is calling his opponent "Liberal Richard Irvin."

If you must subject us to political nicknames, at least put some effort into them. Alliteration and rhyming are your friend.


Get more local stories in your inbox with Axios Chicago.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more

More Chicago stories

No stories could be found


Get a free daily digest of the most important news in your backyard with Axios Chicago.


Support local journalism by becoming a member.

Learn more