CHICAGO (WLS) -- Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner campaigned Monday in what is traditionally Democratic territory on Chicago's South Side at a forum at Chicago State University.
The wealthy north shore Republican promised the south and west side ministers, business owners and activists that if elected governor, he would help turnaround struggling African-American neighborhoods.
"We're all in this together," said Rauner. "We all owe it to each other to help each other get a better life."
The organizers found out during the event that Governor Pat Quinn would not be there.
A Quinn campaign spokeswoman told ABC7 that, "the governor had tentative plans to attend the event but is ill with the flu." She further said his illness is not serious and that he should be back at work soon.
"If I were the Governor I would have been here. It's a significant enough group," said State Representative Ken Dunkin.
"The Governor has always been up front, has always taken on responsibilities," said his running mate Paul Vallas.
Vallas again demanded Rauner release his 2013 tax returns. Vallas also noted news reports that a nursing home chain owned by one of Rauner's former companies was sued for unfit living conditions and wrongful deaths.
"If you're running for office claiming that you're gonna bring modern business practices to the state of Illinois," said Vallas, "what kind of business practices are we talking about? The practices that create jobs or the practices that create profit?"
"My heart goes out to the families impacted," said Rauner, addressing the reports. "I was never on the board. I was not involved in the company in any regard personally. That management team failed. It was a bad investment for us. We're not perfect."
Rauner campaigns on Chicago's South Side