Former Illinois GOP chair Pat Brady endorses Dem Sean Casten over Jeanne Ives

Former Illinois Republican Party Chairman Pat Brady has crossed party lines to endorse Democratic U.S. Rep. Sean Casten of Downers Grove for reelection in the 6th District, going as far as to slam GOP challenger Jeanne Ives in new pro-Casten campaign ads.

The two spots featuring Brady - who lives in St. Charles, within the 6th District - are part of a digital-only ad push that will run on Facebook, Hulu and Google, Casten's campaign said Thursday in a news release.

Casten said he was honored to receive Brady's endorsement.

"Jeanne Ives has made it clear that her values don't represent the 6th District, and Pat Brady has made it clear that her values don't represent the Republican Party," Casten said in the release.

In one of the new videos, Brady says he's a lifelong Republican who can't support Ives, a conservative former state lawmaker from Wheaton who came close to beating then-Gov. Bruce Rauner in the 2018 GOP primary.

"Ives makes (President Donald) Trump look reasonable," Brady says. "She's attacked same-sex families, even questioned the science behind climate change and the coronavirus. Ives is on the wrong side of history."

Statements about Ives pulled from Chicago-area media appear next to a black-and-white photo of her. Brady never mentions Casten in the commercial.

In the other spot, Brady praises Casten and says he'll vote for him without mentioning Ives. Casten is shown touring a suburban energy company as Brady speaks.

"Sean's a businessman and scientist who makes decisions based on facts, never politics," says Brady, referring to Casten's professional experience as the president and CEO of an energy recycling company. "He's worked across the aisle to protect our health and get our economy moving again."

Both spots are 15 seconds long and stamped "Paid for by Casten for Congress."

The Ive> campaign responded to the ads on social media Thursday.

"Of course Pat Brady endorsed Sean Casten," posts on Ives' Twitter and Facebook accounts read. "Amoral, ruling class political hacks stick together."

In Casten's news release, Brady blasts Ives for releasing an ad during her gubernatorial run that featured actors thanking Rauner for expanded transgender, abortion and immigration rights. The ad was panned by activists, Democrats, GOP leadership and media outlets including the Daily Herald.

Brady called it "the most sexist, racist and hate-filled ad I've ever seen."

When asked during an Aug. 25 online forum if she regretted or stood by the 2018 ad, Ives said the spot highlighted Rauner policy positions she opposed.

Brady served as the state GOP chairman from 2009 to 2013. But his Republican bona fides go beyond that job.

He served on the Republican National Committee's budget committee, chaired the national organization's ethics committee and was a member of the late Sen. John McCain's presidential campaign.

Brady resigned his state GOP leadership post after his support of same-sex marriage triggered a fight with other Republicans. He now leads a public relations firm specializing in government and is a political analyst.

Brady and his endorsements drew criticism Thursday from current state GOP Chairman Tim Schneider and Republican National Committee representatives Richard Porter and Demetra Demonte. In a jointly issued statement on Twitter, they said: "Identifying and labeling Pat Brady as a Republican is false and misleading. If you spend all your time attacking and betraying Republicans - whether out of newfound convictions or to continue booking TV appearances - you are a Democrat."

Team Ive> released a campaign ad Thursday, too. Ives narrates the one-minute spot and tells viewers about her military service, her time as an athletic coach and her political service. It also includes footage of civil unrest and of Ives talking with people in different settings.

"Now, I'm stepping up for a new fight - to save this country from those who would destroy the values that forged our nation and make it strong," Ives says in the spot.

Ives also touted support she received on Instagram from U.S. Rep. Dan Crenshaw, a Texas Republican who accused Casten of smearing his character last year during a town-hall forum.

The 6th District includes parts of Cook, DuPage, Kane, Lake and McHenry counties.

Libertarian Bill Redpath of West Dundee also is running.

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Take down the ad Attacks on political opponents are bad enough, but this one attacks people

Casten and Ives sound off on Black Lives Matter and Trump during forums

Casten calls for ban on assault weapons, stronger gun control laws

Ives blames Casten after campaign signs defaced

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