Holcomb stars in re-election ad for Illinois' GOP governor

In a new television ad, Republican Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb "thanks" Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan, D-Chicago, for opposing the policies of Illinois Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner and making Indiana look better as a result. Rauner launched his 2018 re-election campaign on Monday.

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INDIANAPOLIS — Indiana Gov. Eric Holcomb has a starring role in one of the first re-election campaign commercials for Republican Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner.

In the 30-second ad released Tuesday, Holcomb and the Republican governors of Wisconsin and Missouri cheekily thank Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan, D-Chicago, for making their states more attractive by hiking Illinois' income tax over Rauner's veto and blocking Rauner's legislative agenda.

"Thanks, Mike Madigan, for helping create new jobs in Indiana. ... We're growing union jobs faster than Illinois," Holcomb says in the ad.

Holcomb also proclaims at the end, "Hoosiers love you, Mike Madigan!"

Rauner has continually clashed with Madigan since taking office three years ago. The Illinois governor claims the 46-year House incumbent is the source of Illinois' financial mess and the top reason why Illinois needs legislative term limits.

A Holcomb campaign spokesman did not immediately respond to a request for comment about how involved the Hoosier governor plans to be in the 2018 Illinois gubernatorial contest beyond the commercial.

Rauner donated $100,000 of his own money to Holcomb's campaign last year immediately after Indiana's then-lieutenant governor secured the Republican nomination for the state's top job.

Indiana Democratic Party Chairman John Zody wasn't impressed by Holcomb's appearance in Rauner's ad.

"Gov. Holcomb is implying his party's policies aren't responsible for growing good-paying jobs in Indiana, and he's right about that," Zody said. "Fact is, Indiana remains 38th in per capita income, and there is no plan to grow wages at the Statehouse — except to study the pay of state elected officials."

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Dan is Statehouse Bureau Chief for The Times. Since 2009, he's reported on Indiana government and politics — and how both impact the Region — from the state capital in Indianapolis. He originally is from Orland Park, Ill.