Peoria Public Radio News
6:00 am
Wed July 17, 2013

Republican endorsment question

A second-time Republican gubernatorial candidate is weighing-in on the Caterpillar CEO endorsement of one of his opponents. 

Hinsdale State Senator Kirk Dillard stopped in Peoria as part of the two-day kick-off of his campaign. He discussed the need to make Illinois more business-friendly and help manufacturers like Caterpillar thrive. 

Cat CEO Doug Oberhelman recently endorsed  Chicago businessman Bruce Rauner for the Republican nomination. Dillard says Rauner has reported connections to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel and the Democratic Party.

"I’m not sure that the CEO of Caterpillar was quite aware that his chosen candidate had such close ties to Mayor Emanuel. We cannot have another Chicagoan running state government that’s going to be controlled by city hall and Chicago. Downstate needs a voice and I’m not sure that that candidate is going to give downstate Illinois a voice.”

Dillard says he’s lives in suburban Chicago, but has lived in various parts of Illinois, and understands downstate needs. Dillard says he will not raise income taxes if elected governor to help expand business in Illinois. He says he would also work on overhauling the state’s tax code.

Dillard faces Rauner, Senator Bill Brady, and Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford in the Republican primary.