Bruce Rauner will be the Republican gubernatorial candidate running against Pat Quinn, the Democratic governor of Illinois, in the midterm election in November of 2014. Bruce Rauner, who was expected to run away with the primary held on Tuesday, didn’t live up to his nickname of “Runaway Rauner” as he only defeated Illinois state Kirk Dillard by a slim margin of approximately two percent of the GOP vote, according to the Chicago Tribune on Tuesday night.
Rauner, referred to throughout the campaign as a venture capitalist from Winnetka with no political background, garnered 40 percent of the vote while Dillard of Hinsdale received 38 percent – after 97 percent of the precincts had submitted their results for the tally. State Sen. Bill Brady – who may well be considered the Dillard spoiler as far as political candidates were concerned - earned only 15 percent this time around. He ran for governor against Quinn last election and lost. State Treasurer Dan Rutherford – who refused to quit the race after having his campaign derailed by accusations of sexual harassment – got 7.5 percent of the vote.
Gov. Pat Quinn only had one challenger who wasn’t considered much of a threat. Quinn received 72 percent of the vote to Tio Hardiman’s 28 percent.
In acceptance speeches, Quinn tried to promote himself as the honest politician after two recent governors – George Ryan and Rod Blagojevich – were sent to prison, and Rauner started his attacks on Quinn by saying that the state is a mess because of current politicians including Quinn. He repeatedly hammered on the message that Quinn needs to be gone. Rauner accused Quinn, in his speech, to being divisive for the state – dividing Chicago from the rest of the state. He basically offered himself as a new direction for the troubled state as opposed to the old status quo which has resulted in extremely high unemployment in Illinois. Regardless of Quinn’s track-record in Illinois, the current governor was quick to label Rauner as out of touch with everyday people.
The primary election’s turnout was extremely disappointing with less than 25 percent of Illinois voters turning out to vote. A major factor in the disappointing amount participation is that the election process reportedly costs the financially-distraught state some $6 million to $7 million.
Another major race in the state was the GOP nomination for United States senator to run against Democratic Sen. Dick Durbin. The winner of the Republican primary was Jim Oberweis. In that contest, Oberweis had 56 percent of the vote to opponent Doug Truax’s 44 percent – with 98 percent of the state’s precincts reported.
Oberweis told supporters after the results were announced, “I believe that if I win this Senate seat, it means that the Republicans will be taking control of the U.S. Senate and that will change the direction of this country.”
Durbin said to his Party, after the results were announced, “Now that self-funding, ultra-conservative Jim Oberweis has been nominated, I’m going to need you even more.” Apparently, Durbin is going to be fighting Oberweis' by using Oberweis' wealth against him - as Democrats have been anti-rich people during the Obama presidency. And of course, Oberweis’ ammunition against Durbin has to do with Durbin rubber-stamping literally everything President Obama has done during Durbin’s past term – and Obama’s approval rating, primarily due to the widespread unpopularity of Obamacare - is at a record low at this time.
The midterm election - when the races between Rauner and Quinn as well as between Oberweis and Durbin - will be held on Nov. 4, 2014.