Bruce Rauner leads cheers for Republicans at State Fair

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WLS) -- Republicans get their turn to shine at the Illinois State Fair on Thursday. The party's candidate for governor, Bruce Rauner, led the cheers of the party's faithful in Springfield.

The helmeted candidate led a pack of motorcycles onto the fairgrounds where he was greeted by enthusiastic Republicans ready to do political battle.

"It's going to be a rough and tumble campaign and we're going to love every minute of it," said Rauner.

The venture capitalist-- who estimates his worth in the hundreds of millions-- would not commit to including the schedules or details of when he plans to release his 2013 tax returns in mid-October.

"We've released far more information on our taxes than is required and that most folks have ever done," said Rauner.

"That's disturbing. The truth is that he is trying to find another way to avoid full financial disclosure," said Rikeesha Phelon, Democratic Governors Association.

Pat Quinn supporters demonstrated outside the picnic urging Rauner to run for governor of the Cayman Islands, where the Republican says he has five investment accounts.

"Pat Quinn's trying to create a bunch of mud in the air to try to create a diversion," said Rauner.

"I don't think there's any secret that Bruce Rauner's made a lot of money in his career so I don't see why there's so much emphasis on it," said State Rep. Jim Durkin, R-Minority Leader.

Earlier at the state county chairman's meeting, other Republicans differed on how much Rauner or any candidate should reveal of his or her personal finances.

"I think that basically candidates need to be a transparent as possible," said Paul Schimpf, R-Attorney General candidate.

"I think you have to see where your money is and I think people need to be upfront about that," said Judy Baar Topinka, R- Illinois comptroller.

Back at the picnic Rauner-- who prides himself on never having held political office-- ignored the speeches and spent most of Republican Day offstage working the crowd trying to convince supporters he is not the billionaire elitist Democrats are trying to make him.

"America is about working hard and doing good, and I'm proud of my success," said Rauner.

Republican speaker after speaker blasted the Quinn administration's record on jobs, employment and the economy. But they were seemingly oblivious to the news Thursday that the Illinois unemployment rate had fallen to 6.8%, the lowest it has been since August 2008. That's good news for the Democrats, and unmentionable here at Republican Day.
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