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Dillard wants clear shot at Rauner

Thursday, Feb 20, 2014


In the race for governor, State Senator Kirk Dillard thinks it’s time for party leaders to prevail upon Dan Rutherford or Bill Brady - or both - to quit the race for the sake of preventing Bruce Rauner from getting the GOP nomination.

Rauner’s 20-point lead in the Tribune poll has Dillard is saying party leaders ought to lean on Brady or Rutherford to drop out.

“Well, I really would hope the Republican County Chairmen’s Association would be the group that would try to galvanize our party,” Dillard said. “It is very clear, unfortunately, that the state treasurer who has had allegations of sexual harassment and political dealings on state time is now unelectable. And Bill Brady proved in 2010 that even with a tailwind where we elected a number of Republican congressmen, he was unelectable.”

It’s not a horrible point, and Dillard is obviously trying to show that he’s the challenger with the momentum, but I doubt anyone else is going to get forced or talked out of this race.

Brady was completely counted out last time and he won. If Rutherford gets out, he’s all but admitting wrongdoing.

And what Republican has any real power in this state to make something like this happen? Mark Kirk, maybe, but despite his public claims of neutrality he has two staffers on Rauner’s campaign.

And Rauner is most likely a believer in a “the more the merrier” theory right now. If he’s reached his peak because of the union TV ads, he wants those lost votes split up, not concentrated with one opponent. And since he has some support within that county chairman’s association, his folks will not be involved with this.

Raising a ton of money back when Dillard still had Ron Gidwitz in his corner would’ve done more to bolster his cause now. But all three candidates are financially challenged. Dillard has some endorsements and a little bit of cash, but he has yet to outline a clear path to victory, particularly if Rauner turns the guns on him with “He supported Obama!” TV ads, or whatnot.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - Smoggie - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 12:35 pm:

    The question Republicans should be asking right now is which candidate, if any, has the best chance to beat Quinn.

    Dillard seems intent on beating Rauner, but he has not made the case he can beat Quinn.

    Rauner is a deeply flawed candidate. Payton Prep, the minimum wage, and his war on unions will make him a tough sell in November.

    Still, he’s got all the money in the world and that sure helps.

    In contrast, we have Dillard who has annoyed Republicans with his Obama ad, and who shares the social conservative views that cost Brady the election four years ago.

    In addition, Dillard has not shown any great strength in raising funds.

    So if the goal is to put a Republican in the governor’s office, you probably want to hold your nose and support Rauner. Dillard simply has not shown he can win.

  2. - Carl Nyberg - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 12:38 pm:

    My two cents is that Rutherford leaving the race shows that he is able to deal with the reality that his campaign has been derailed and he’s willing to make some personal sacrifice so the GOP can properly consider whether Rauner is appropriate to nominate for Governor.

    I think stepping aside would show courage and class by Rutherford. But I’m not a Republican.

  3. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 12:39 pm:

    Gotta give Dillard points for chutzpah.

    When you’re last in the polls and ask the other guys to quit…..

  4. - 47th Ward - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 12:40 pm:

    ===When you’re last in the polls and ask the other guys to quit===


  5. - A guy... - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 12:41 pm:

    Oy. He currently trails the whole field, including the guy who he’s reiterating accusations against. He’s been a train wreck from the beginning. I’m betting everyone else in this field would love a clear shot at Dillard. Now it’s just goofy. Momentum?? He’s moving at the pace of a snail and rarely goes forward.

  6. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 12:42 pm:

    Brady, Dillard and Rutherford should have sorted this out among themselves long ago.

    If no one is strong enough to take out Rauner on their own, then get the gang together and take out the big dog.

    Doing so would require some artful maneuvering and negotiating, but that’s what the best leaders are capable of. Or, in this case, incapable of.

  7. - Roamin' Numeral - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 12:45 pm:

    ==Brady, Dillard and Rutherford should have sorted this out among themselves long ago.==

    What if they had done this, and settled on Rutherford? What would they do now?

  8. - Whatever - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 12:48 pm:

    Typical Dillard — he thinks its everyone else’s responsibility to make his path easier. Are the County Chairmen supposed to force other candidates out just so Dillard gets a break? Dillard has nothing to build a strong campaign or make himself viable. No resources, no strategy, and no message other than “It’s my turn, because I lost the last primary by 193 votes and I worked for Jim Edgar.” Pathetic.

  9. - Norseman - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 12:55 pm:

    I want to win it big in the lottery so I can become a 1%er.

  10. - Wensicia - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 12:56 pm:

    While he’s at it, why doesn’t Dillard request Rauner drop out, too.

  11. - OneMan - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 1:00 pm:

    It never hurts to ask…

  12. - Formerly Known As... - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 1:01 pm:

    @Roamin’ Numeral - then they would really be up the creek without a paddle, wouldn’t they? lol

    I was thinking more like “we take Rauner out asap and then duke it out among ourselves” than “we take Rauner out and coalesce behind one candidate”.

    Either way, with Rauner out of commission they would have at least had some flexibility and a better shot at winning, regardless of whatever “plan” they had settled on.

  13. - Mittuns - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 1:02 pm:

    Tio wants a clear shot at Quinn, too.

  14. - Upon Further Review - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 1:03 pm:

    It may happen when pigs learn how to fly.

    The Republican party structure in Illinois is such that many party officials are mere figureheads now. Decades ago, the county chairs wielded greater power and could have dictated such a decision. Today, I doubt any of the candidates would feel bound by such a determination.

  15. - Arizona Bob - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 1:05 pm:

    The only ones who can drive a candidate out of this race are the big money contributors, and they’re backing Rauner. It’s in Rauner’s interest to keep Rutherford and Brady in the race. The points made about Brady and Rutherford not being electable in the general are spot on. One of the problems Dillard had the last time around was the big contributors, many of whom owed favors to McKenna’s dad or to Schillerstrom for favors he gave as DuPage Chairperson stiffed Dillard. He couldn’t sell the deal for himself. He didn’t have enough favors to call in because he really hasn’t been a “difference maker” in Springfield, and his clout is minimal.

    This is a desperate act on Dillards part. The people who make the money decisions just don’t see him as a good investment, and that’s a political obituary.

  16. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 1:07 pm:

    - Norseman -,

    Can you send out a release asking everyone to drop out. Enclose some stickers, maybe Cannoli, your call on the pastry.

    Please word it firm, yet welcoming to the campaign.

    Use the library address and keep the cost belie the reporting threshold.

    …Dillard is trying it, so…

  17. - MissSmartyPants - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 1:09 pm:

    Nice try, Dilly Bar. You are a joke.

  18. - Soccermom - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 1:32 pm:

    Dillard wants a clear shot at Rauner. I want a pony.

  19. - Walker - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 1:35 pm:

    Dillard is best suited to lead most Illinois Republicans, and best qualified to run the executive branch. The Primary was his to win, but he got completely outflanked.

    Rauner is the one I have been most worried about from day one, as the wild card who just might win the General, driven by voter discontent.

  20. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 1:38 pm:

    Rutherford should put his ego aside (difficult) and wdraw. He is a goner. Defend himself, finish his term w dignity and just maybe live to fight another day. His wounds are self inflicted.

    Brady has a core of loyal support and THATS IT. He has no path to grow beyond that.

  21. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 1:42 pm:

    ===as the wild card who just might win the General, driven by voter discontent. ===

    Voter discontent is quite real and, therefore, doesn’t make him a wild card. It makes him a very formidable general election challenger.

    Plus, all the money in the world doesn’t hurt.

  22. - railrat - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 1:46 pm:

    as long as Ill. GOP believes EVERYONE should run regardless of final outcome vs. the Dems “lets just wait your turn, with a wink and a nod” this comment is nonsense, it makes the “fat rich white guy” the glaring GOP albatross, how sad …

  23. - dupage dan - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 2:07 pm:

    Rutherford was the only candidate who had a chance to take on Rauner with ANY hopes of beating him. It could be argued that he was the most likely candidate who could beat Quinn. His likely exit, IN NO WAY, changes that reality.

    Neither Dillard or Brady have a snowball’s chance in #&LL of beating Quinn. Looks like Bruce, The Money, Rauner in the general. How does he look in a year if we wins? Will he end up being the next Schwartzenegger? Ventura? Blagojevich?

  24. - So Sorry - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 2:19 pm:

    Well, if Dillard really wants an interesting pitch, you ought to tell the public that if nominated, he’ll drop out and let someone who can win be given the nomination. He’d be the clean start candidate.

  25. - David Ormsby - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 2:24 pm:

    I want a pony.

  26. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 2:50 pm:

    Dillard should challenge Rauner to a jousting contest.
    Mano Y Mano.

  27. - haverford - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 3:16 pm:

    ===Plus, all the money in the world doesn’t hurt. ===

    Sorry this is a bit off topic, but I start sputtering every time Rauner just drops another cool HALF MIL into his campaign.

    Rauner is just straight up purchasing the primary. It must be driving them CRAZY.

    If he wins - since both sides seem to hate him - does anyone think this might inspire some actual election $$ reform? Because this must be how the little guys feel when they’re trying to run on issues and 50k and their opponent makes a 200k ad buy without blinking.

  28. - Titus Lucretius Carus - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 3:37 pm:

    @ A Guy
    “Momentum?? He’s moving at the pace of a snail and rarely goes forward”

    What do you mean? He’s doubled his support in the last two weeks… Now his mom AND dad are supporting him (dad was previously a Rutherford man… well, not a “Rutherford Man”, but a supporter of Rutherford ;-)

  29. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 3:52 pm:

    It’s part of the GOP Primary process. Let them duke it out and, I’d imagine, some voters will analyze and speculate over not only the results, but the associated decision-making.

  30. - Arthur Andersen - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 4:00 pm:

    D-Lard is going for Blago’s old Testicular Virility claim here, eh?

  31. - too obvious - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 4:07 pm:

    Yeah clear the way for the guy in last place.

    What color is the sky in Kirk Dillard’s world? Sheesh.

  32. - too obvious - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 4:10 pm:

    OR Dillard could think about starting to run a serious campaign instead of sitting back and letting his union handlers do all the work.

  33. - Reformed Public Servant - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 4:12 pm:

    Madigan controlled his party and Daley was pushed out of the way for Quinn. The IL GOP needs the same discipline, but I doubt they can build the Tower of Babble in three weeks, thus the Confussion of Tongues will continue to drive their party into irrelevancy. Like it or not, Dillard is their highest and best hope for relevancy.

  34. - Titus Lucretius Carus - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 4:22 pm:

    It doesn’t really matter anyway; Rutherford was, repeat, WAS, the only one who could’ve won the general election. Now that he’s out (effectively) it means we’ll have four more years of Quinn unless he goes and does something monumentally stupid. Rauner doesn’t stand a chance in a general election (especially considering he’ll actually have to show up to the debates).

  35. - dupage dan - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 4:32 pm:

    TLC, Rauner may be able to win V Quinn. The way many voters feel, he could get a lot of “anybodybutQuinn” votes. That’s what propelled Blagojevich into office. AnybodybutRyan

  36. - Walter Mitty - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 5:05 pm:

    Wow… Nothing says career politician or what is wrong with our state than publicly wishing for the “good ole day’s” when back room deals are what mattered… Go away Dillard…

  37. - Walter Mitty - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 5:07 pm:

    And when that ad runs… Send a check to willy world consultants… He deserves something for all his hard work for the other… 3..

  38. - ironman - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 5:09 pm:

    Bottom line, Brady can’t win. He opened his mouth and stuck his foot in it too many times. Rutherford is done, reguardless if allegations are true or false. Kirk Dillard is the only guy who can beat Quinn or Rauner. The polls are not accurate.

  39. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 5:25 pm:

    - Walter Mitty -,

    Email - AA -, to get your 3% fee for a recommendation of AWillyWord Con$ulting. Hodas and their Crew got Dillard up for the Springfield debate, and I loved it.

    As for accurate polling right now;

    It’s all accurate. What makes it inaccurate now is the GOTV, “pluses” and voting your ID’d “pluses” to victory.

    Bruce Rauner has not shown the GOTV/Field Operations. Not in a bus tour, not in events, not in stand alone rallies.

    The polls are right, it’s up to the GOTV to bring it home.

    Right Brady? Right Dillard?

    Votes are in precincts, not Facebook or Twitter.

  40. - Deepest Issues - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 5:29 pm:

    Please, please, please make Dillard relevant enough in the polls that Rauner launches the Obama ad. I’m not old enough to remember Nagasaki so this will be the next best thing.

  41. - T.J. - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 5:31 pm:

    Why in God’s name would anyone ahead of Dillard drop out upon his demand? I hate Rauner, but the one way I’ll vote for him in the primary is if it becomes a Rauner-Dillard race. I fear Rauner has no principles; with Dillard, I know it.

  42. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 5:33 pm:

    *eating popcorn, sometimes squinting, sometimes with eyes widening in amazement as characters “develop” and the battle progresses*

  43. - wordslinger - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 5:40 pm:

    IEA mailer for Dillard in the box this evening.

  44. - Connect the dots - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 6:22 pm:

    F’ing tired of Oswego’s big mouth…

  45. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 6:29 pm:

    Hope you feel better…

  46. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 6:31 pm:

    =F’ing tired of Oswego’s big mouth… =

    *raises eyebrows, puts popcorn down, checks rating on the thread, applauds politely, picks popcorn back up*

  47. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 6:34 pm:

    - Anonymous -,

    You can applaud and still not get a nickname?


  48. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 6:36 pm:

    *checks the program thread to see whether 47th, word, and/or AA are scheduled for an appearance to defend Willy and/or to join together to shun and insult the others*

  49. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 6:37 pm:

    …as if anyone cares. While quoting Reagan.

  50. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 6:39 pm:

    Do. Not. Feed. Trolls.

    …even tired ones.

  51. - Anonymous - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 6:48 pm:

    *disappointed, but still makes an attempt at a half-smile, after realizing that this is not a new and inspiring performance but just a re-do of the same.same.same old play, and switches the thread off.*

  52. - Frosty-The Snowman - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 7:16 pm:

    This time it is different. Money is “not” going to be the primary reason which will win Rauner the Primary and the General. Obviously, money allows the message to go out to the masses but this time it is “the message” that Rauner is not going to take prisoners if elected. He is out to totally “eliminate” the problem. I was always a Brady guy. Actually, I am still a Brady guy but I am also a realist. As I talk to Republicans and Democrats in the stores and the bars, I am hearing the same thing about Rauner. His television political ads appeal to both Republicans and to the younger (18-40) Democrats. I have even had union rank & file tell me (silently) that they like Rauner’s message. GOP have told me that Brady and Dillard represent the same old “I am going to huff-and puff-and blow your house down” with Madigan and his machine but the voters know that Bill and Kirk have behaved more like Larry the Librarian during their lengthy stay in Springfield. Rauner comes across to the voters as a “I am the guy who is going to kick their butts and take down names” when I get to Springfield.

    The GOP and Dem voters I have talked with are so fed up and frustrated with the current state government that they say they are willing to “roll the dice” and take a chance with this unknown Bruce “Braveheart” Rauner in this upcoming election. Rauner is “feisty” and voters know a “junkyard dog” is exactly what is needed down in Springfield. My heart is with Brady but my money (and my vote) is on Rauner.

  53. - DuPage Dave - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 7:35 pm:

    It looks like we will have total war in November- Quinn representing the status quo and Rauner representing Armageddon. Sorry but I don’t buy it that any union member would tell anyone- silently or otherwise– that they favor Rauner. He is out to destroy their way of life.

    At least we will have an election to remember. The last two were snooze fests by comparison.

  54. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 7:51 pm:

    Any Union Member voting for “Bruce Rauner” better be educated on how Bruce Rauner is going to try to dismantle state unions, Constitution guarantees or not.

    You “had” me until union members supporting Rauner.

  55. - Konda Chilly - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 8:56 pm:

    I got news for you Oswego: People vote against their supposed interests all the time.

    Plenty of union Democrats voted for Reagan.

    Same will happen with Rauner. Lots of people are tired of the status quo. Maybe they figure they’ll get a pension haircut but taxes might not go up as fast.

  56. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 9:06 pm:

    - Konda Chilly -,

    Think “Nevada” not “Wisconsin”

    If you are looking for news flashes. Unions, organization, fed-up voters…

    The General Election will not be about being against the Status-Quo, and but trying to remember what the status-quo is/was…

  57. - Just The Way It Is One - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 9:31 pm:

    It’s a great iDEa–but the problem is he’s the wrong guy to think (settled-in at last place) he deserves DR and BB to drop out in HIS favor. Based on BB’s 2nd Place standing in recent Polls, and given his great Name Recognition within the GOP, Mr. Brady is the only hope the GOP has of keeping br hammerin’ away at one of his 9 HOMES Nationwide, rather than at Pat Quinn for the next 10 months…! At any rate, it won’t happen, so now it’s just a question of who, BB or Kirk, finish 2nd to the Baron….

  58. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 9:34 pm:

    Also, comparing Rauner to … Reagan?

    Reagan got Union endorsements, not just union members “endorsing” him.

    Rauner is no Reagan, and Reagan hated term limits, no matter what Dopey commercial Rauner says about bring good enough for Reagan.

  59. - DuPage Rep - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 10:51 pm:

    Mr. Willy,
    You have no idea what a rank in file Union guy thinks. I am convinced if Bruce Rauner were to have found the cure to cancer, you would find a way to hate him more. Take a chill pill and look at a picture of Tom Cross.

  60. - Oswego Willy - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 11:02 pm:

    - DuPage Rep -,

    You know nothing about me. Your obsession with me and that with Cross just reminds me how a simple thought takes root with those who refuse to see things as they are, like “Bruce Rauner” and Bruce Rauner. Thanks!

  61. - Steambath - Thursday, Feb 20, 14 @ 11:23 pm:

    and I want an oompaloompa

Sorry, comments for this post are now closed.

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* Illinois REALTORS® urge voters to reelect Sen. Rezin
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* Governor’s Children’s Cabinet Makes Lead Poisoning Prevention A Priority - October 23-30, 2016 - National Lead Poisoning Prevention Week
* Illinois EPA Sponsors Interactive Environmental Education Event with Riverton Elementary School - Riverton Third and Fourth Graders “Dive In!” to Celebrate the Environment
* Illinois Department of Veterans’ Affairs Honors Veteran Mr. George Pempek
* Illinois Partners with State of Telangana, India to Strengthen Smart State Initiatives - State to state agreement to accelerate opportunities and service to citizens
* Illinois EPA Announces Vehicle Emissions Testing Network Updates - New Contract to Offer More Efficient, Less Expensive Tests

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