Brady kicks off campaign for governor

March 14, 2010 9:13:03 PM PDT
In a show of party unity, Republican State Sen. Bill Brady kicked off his campaign for governor Sunday with a rally in Addison.Brady was joined by the men who opposed him in the primary, as well as the rest of the state GOP ticket.

All of Bill Brady's rivals attended the event, except Andy McKenna. ABC7 is told McKenna had a prior family commitment.

But most notably, Kirk Dillard did attend. He and Brady ran neck-and-neck leading up to the primary election. Dillard lost, and now, Dillard says he is a big supporter of Bill Brady.

More than 200 others also came to help Brady kick off his campaign. Because the central Illinois state senator is not well known in the Chicago area, Brady decided to launch his statewide campaign in the northern corridor of the state. He played it safe by having the rally in relatively conservative DuPage County.

Brady barely won the Republican primary. He did it by doing very well in southern Illinois. But to win in November, Brady must get votes from independents in the Chicago area.

While Brady and his former rivals are determined to work together to win in November, they all know a Republican victory is going to take a big reach across the aisle.

"To reach out to independents and Democrats. To reach out to minorities, blacks and Latinos, and share the vision we have for future of Illinois," Brady said.

Approximately 60 percent of the vote comes from Cook and the collar counties.

Roosevelt University political science professor Paul Green says Brady has a shot at winning if he sticks to the economy.

"If he can make the election depend on budget, revenue and taxes, and Blagojevich, he has a shot of winning," Green said.

But, if Gov. Pat Quinn successfully changes the script to social issues, Green says Brady can lose, especially with suburban women. Brady is a social conservative who opposes abortion, including in cases of rape and incest. He also fought against government mandates for insurance coverage of mammograms.

But Brady never mentioned those views Sunday, and instead, he talked about how to get Chicago out of the financial mess.

"We have to make Illinois competitive again. We over-tax and over-regulate and over-litigate, and it is going to stop now, for the future of our children and grandchildren," Brady said.

"I am committed to getting my friend and colleague Bill Brady elected as the governor of the next state. We need a Republican governor so badly in Springfield," said Dillard.

Kirk Dillard also said that during the last three days, he actually spent time with Bill Brady campaigning.

Brady has called for 10-percent, across-the-board spending cuts. He strongly opposes Governor Quinn's call for a state income tax increase. Brady says the key to generating private sector jobs is to cut taxes.

Brady was expected to launch a listening tour Monday, which will begin in Elk Grove Village.