Rauner to face Quinn after winning Republican primary for Illinois governor

March 19, 2014 (CHICAGO)

In the Republican primary for governor, Bruce Rauner won with 40-percent to 37-percent for Kirk Dillard in a tight race. Bill Brady was third and Dan Rutherford a distant fourth.

On the Democratic side, Governor Pat Quinn easily defeated Tio Hardiman.

Fewer than 12 hours after the losers conceded and winners declared, the general election campaign was underway. The Illinois Democratic governor legendary for his populist politics will be challenged by a super wealthy Republican businessman.

"This is our year, this is our election. We are going to sweep Pat Quinn into the dustbin of Illinois history," said Rauner.

The Republican nominee for governor told the party's unity luncheon the focus from now until November is Democratic incumbent pat Quinn.

"He's been in office five years and he wants five more years. We cannot let that happen," said Rauner.

Rauner paid tribute to his primary opponents Bill Brady and Dan Rutherford as second place finisher Kirk Dillard did not attend the unity event. A spokesman told ABC7 Dillard was en route to Springfield for state Senate business.

"So let's get to work. It starts today and it won't let up," said Judy Baar Topinka, Illinois Comptroller.

Before Republicans ate and drank at the tony Union League Club, Democratic party leaders held their unity breakfast at the less pretentious Billy Goat Tavern. They included Governor Pat Quinn, who last night launched a TV ad focused on Rauner's position on raising the minimum wage.

"A billionaire with nine mansions calling for a reduction in the minimum wage that would harm thousands of Illinois families," said Gov. Quinn.

"Minimum wage is a complex issue. We should not just raise it and do nothing else because we already have high unemployment," said Rauner.

"What kind of a heartless policy is this? What has he got against minimum wage workers? We ought to be giving them a raise. That's what I'm for," said Gov. Quinn.

"Pat Quinn is desperate to attack me because he doesn't have a track record of his own. He's failed as a leader," said Rauner.

Mr. Rauner donated about $6 million of his own money as he spent about $9 million to win the primary. A spokesman told ABC7 Wednesday afternoon that the National Republican Governor's Association donated $750,000 to the Rauner campaign today.

The Quinn forces are bracing themselves for the most expensive campaign certainly in the state's history, upwards of $30-40 million per side. Keep in mind, that's a seven-month period between the primary and general election in Illinois.

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