ST. CHARLES – Republican governor hopeful Bruce Rauner gave a campaign speech Monday at Torry Granrath’s Custom Concrete Inc., in St. Charles, to about 20 supporters who gathered inside the business.
With the March 18 primary race a week away, Rauner, a businessman, promised to return both Illinois and the state’s Republican Party to its former greatness.
State Sens. Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard are making a second run for the office, and Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford also is running.
The winner of the primary will run against incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn.
“It’s your commitment, your hard work, your patriotism, is how we are going to rebuild the Republican Party, and how we are going to win this election and how we are going to turn our state around,” Rauner said. “The core values of the Republican Party and the core values that made America great: Limited government, low taxes, individual liberty, personal responsibility.”
Rauner spoke on common themes in his campaign for governor, to promote a pro-business atmosphere in the state, to reduce regulations and red tape to support business growth, shrink the size of government, excellent schools and fixing the state’s pension crisis.
“These politicians in Springfield just don’t get it, and they are not going to fix it,” Rauner said. “I’m not a politician, but I love this state of Illinois … this is our home … you don’t mess with my home.”
Rauner said he has been working with successful Republican governors of other states, including Scott Walker of Wisconsin and former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, to learn how to implement the cornerstones of his platform.
He said what creates jobs is an environment where businesses and entrepreneurs are willing to invest in Illinois.
Rauner recommended expanding technical education in the state, as “thousands of jobs going unfilled” because high school students have not had the training.
“We have got corruption in Springfield … that we have got to pull out by the roots,” Rauner said. “There are career politicians down there for decades.”
Kane County Board member Drew Frasz, R-Elburn, said he was putting his support behind Rauner.
“Absolutely, without a doubt,” Frasz said. “I think once Bruce gets in, it will be like a wildfire, it will get a lot of Republicans motivated to stay in office [and] take over the house and senate. He is the only guy who has not taken money from the unions.”