March 21, 2014 (CHICAGO) (WLS) — Some African American voters are abandoning their Democrat roots for the Republican candidate for governor of Illinois.
Is it a fleeting infatuation with Illinois’ new political face, Bruce Rauner, or do these Democratic defectors represent a crack in Governor Pat Quinn’s base?
When activist Bob Israel sees construction sites with few or no African American workers he blames Democratic elected officials and their trade union allies.
“I’m blaming the Democratic Party because they are being controlled by the unions and that’s why we are not working,” he said.
Online publisher Hartman says the black community’s high unemployment and total lack of economic development caused her this week to vote Republican for the first time.
“We’ve got to bring about some change. And you’re not going to change, if you don’t change,” he said.
Major Chicago black church leaders, all one-time Democrats, have endorsed Rauner, including the Reverend and former State Senator James Meeks, West Sider the Reverend Marshall Hatch and the South Side’s Reverend Stephen Thurston.
“I’m not looking at the party, I’m looking at the issues that are there,” Thurston said.
But Republican convert Bob Israel says Democrats have had their chance.
“We been drinking the Democratic Kool-Aid for 40 years and I don’t see no change,” he said.