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Tue March 18, 2014
Rauner Nabs Republican Nomination, But Not The Dominant Win Predicted
Bruce Rauner narrowly won the Republican primary for governor. He'll face Governor Pat Quinn, who is aiming for a second full-term. Neither of the wins were surprising, but the margins were.
Quinn was basically guaranteed Democrat's nod, after former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley dropped out of the running in September.
Still Quinn's so-called "token" opponent, Tio Hardiman — who had no money to really run a campaign — grabbed 28 percent of the vote. That's largely being viewed more as "anti-Quinn" than "pro-Hardiman."
Which could signal trouble for him come the general election. But with 70 percent of Democrats voting for Quinn, he can claim a majority of his party members' support.
The same can't be said of Republicans' nominee, though that didn't stop Rauner from beaming and continually giving a "thumbs up" when he accepted the nomination.
"Let's shake up Springfield!" he said. "Let's go get 'em!"
Forty percent of Republicans voted for Rauner, compared with the 37 percent who went for State Sen. Kirk Dillard. He has strong backing from public employee unions, who are none to happy with Rauner's criticism of "government unions bosses."
Dillard narrowly missing winning the GOP nomination in 2010, to Sen. Bill Brady. This time, Brady got 15-percent of the vote, with Treasurer Dan Rutherford rounding out the field.
Brady will continue to serve in the General Assembly past 2014, but Dillard and Rutherford's terms as elected officials will be over when the legislative session ends. Both promise they'll be back ... in some capacity.
Even as primary results were coming in, his campaign was airing anti-Rauner ads on TV.
And here's Quinn, during his acceptance speech:
"I'm here today, to fight, for an economy that works for everyone," he said. "Not just for the billionaires." Quinn's pushing for a minimum wage hike, for example.
But Rauner says Quinn has put his own, political interests, above working peoples' needs.
"He's shredded our social services safety net," he said. "And he's de-funded our schools.While thousands of school children are trapped in failing schools. He's a failure. We're going to get him gone this November."
That situation is complicated for the governor going forward, because an income tax increase expires at the end of this year. Quinn will soon have to say what he wants done with that. Among the options? Extending the higher tax, or cutting the budget.