RGA Drops $750,000 Into Rauner’s Coffers Hours After Primary Win

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Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner prior to winning the GOP Primary.

Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner prior to winning the GOP Primary.

The Republican Governors Association didn’t waste time showing their enthusiasm over Bruce Rauner’s primary victory on March 18. The GOP organization focused on retaining the eight-seat lead among chief executives at the state level donated $750,000 just hours after Rauner (R-Winnetka) bested State Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) and others to take on incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn (D-Chicago) in the November election.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times, RGA Chairman and New Jersey Gov. Chris Christie (R-Mendham Township, NJ) was also trying to reach out to the Winnetka businessman after the three-point victory.

The donation brings RGA’s investment into the Illinois governor’s race as an indication that they believe this will be a key race to maintain and possibly grow on the 29-21 lead Republicans enjoy among executives occupying governor mansions in the nation. Many political insiders, such as the Washington Post’s The Fix, rate the governor’s race as a Top 5 contest, with some polls showing Rauner with an early lead against Quinn.

Jon Thompson, RGA communications director, told the Lincoln Courier that the organizations is “all in” for this race and that they believe Rauner is “focused, willing and prepared to do what it takes to bring back Illinois” to the GOP column. Taking note of the victory, the RGA issued a statement from Christie about the race, calling now the move past the problems he attributes to Quinn’s leadership and move on to a new face.

“Illinois is ready for Bruce Rauner,” Christie said in a statement. “The Republican Governors Association proudly supports Bruce Rauner’s campaign to defeat Governor Quinn.”


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Justin Shimko

Justin Shimko is an award-winning writer and political analyst. He began as a reporter in his college days at the University of Oklahoma, writing for The Oklahoma Daily (rated as one of the best collegiate newspapers in the nation) and The Oklahoman, the statewide newspaper, winning awards from the CSPA and the Society of Professional Journalists. He later moved on to research and writing work for a number of political campaigns. His email is [email protected]

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