* I gave subscribers a heads-up about this yesterday morning. Tribune…
The Illinois Education Association, one of the state’s major public teachers’ unions, is scheduled to endorse state Sen. Kirk Dillard for the Republican nomination for governor, sources familiar with the endorsement said Thursday.
The endorsement, to be announced during a news conference in downtown Chicago on Friday, could re-invigorate the veteran Hinsdale lawmaker’s campaign. Dillard has languished in fundraising against the high-dollar, TV ad-focused bid for the nomination waged by Bruce Rauner, a foe of the teachers’ unions and what he calls “government union bosses.”
The IEA, which represents teachers outside Chicago, endorsed Dillard for governor four years ago, but he came up short by 193 votes to state Sen. Bill Brady of Bloomington. The union gave Dillard’s campaign $250,000¿ along with a cadre of political foot soldiers.
Dillard voted against the state’s new law changing Illinois’ public employee pensions, a measure that aims to close a $100 billion unfunded liability within the next 30 years. The endorsement is a setback for state Treasurer Dan Rutherford, who also opposed the new law and contended unions should have had a voice in drafting a reform bill.
* An e-mail from Dillard’s campaign early this morning…
Republican candidate for Governor Kirk Dillard will hold a press conference Friday to announce a major endorsement in the 2014 campaign for the GOP nomination for Governor.
When: Friday, February 14, 10 a.m.
Where: Union League Club of Chicago, Room 700
65 W Jackson Blvd, Chicago, IL 60604
* You can watch live video of this event by clicking here.
…Adding… Some of y’all are getting a little too excited about this endorsement in comments. In my opinion, unless the teachers are in for major seven figures, all this does is play into Rauner’s “big government union bosses” argument.
Rauner can pretty easily counter any impact this might have with a directed TV ad shot at Dillard. The teachers will be calling and mailing their members, and they have a lot of members, but I’m just not sure yet that this’ll bump Dillard up enough to put him in play. We’ll see.