GOP gubernatorial candidates take aim at Bruce Rauner

In this photo, Republican venture capitalist Bruce Rauner speaks after attending a meeting of The Illinois Business Immigration Coalition in Chicago. ( (AP Photo/M. Spencer Green))

November 21, 2013 3:33:31 PM PST
The election for Illinois governor is still a year away, but on Thursday the four Republican candidates appeared at Tinley Park Chamber of Commerce.

After wealthy businessman Bruce Rauner spoke at the Tinley Park Chamber of Commerce breakfast, his three opponents -- Bill Brady, Kirk Dillard, and Dan Rutherford -- in the Republican primary race for governor took the gloves off.

"I just don't think the Republican Party is looking for someone who's going to try to buy an election," Bill Brady, Republican, candidate for governor.

"No one should be allowed to buy the governor's office," Senator Kirk Dillard, candidate for governor, said.

Rauner--whose personal worth is estimated in the hundreds of millions --recently donated $500,000 to his $4 million-plus campaign war chest. He's the only candidate -- Democrat or Republican -- running ads on television. He said he's not trying to buy the election.

"Absolutely not! We're going to win the race. And to win you've got to spend some money. But what it really takes is working hard and connecting with the voters," Rauner said.

"The fact is he's got a lot of money. The fact is he's got a lot of people with a lot of money and he's going to go out and try to buy name I.D. and positive favor," Dan Rutherford, Republican, candidate for governor. "And no one's ever taken as much special interest or out-of-state money as Bruce Rauner."

Rauner says the other candidates have taken union contributions at some point. He wants term limits for his opponents, all of whom currently hold elected office.

Rauner, a Winnetka venture capitalist, says his wealth makes him less corruptible.

"That's a huge advantage. I can just do the right thing," Rauner said.