NPR Story
4:00 am
Thu February 27, 2014

Dillard Picks Up Teachers' Endorsement; Rauner Still Pouring Own Money Into Race

Originally published on Wed February 26, 2014 1:54 pm

Republican gubernatorial candidate Kirk Dillard got the endorsement of a retired group of teachers Wednesday. But he’s still lagging front-runner Bruce Rauner, who continues to tap his significant personal fortune for his campaign.

The Illinois Retired Teachers Association has nearly 36,000 members. President Bob Pinkerton says this is the first time the group has endorsed a candidate for governor.

He praised Dillard’s vote against a massive pension overhaul intended to cut benefits for teachers and state employees.

"We respect Sen. Dillard, and know he will honor his word and uphold his end of the bargain, as we teachers upheld ours," Pinkerton says.

Dillard is playing up this endorsement, as he did with one from one of the state’s biggest teachers unions. But he’s still not advertising on TV, which even he acknowledges is a crucial way of reaching voters.

"It just depends on the money," Dillard says. "You know, I'd love to go on ‘The Today Show’ several times an hour, like the other guy."

That other guy would be private equity investor Bruce Rauner. Earlier this week he dropped another $1.3 million of his vast personal wealth into his campaign account.

That brings his total self-funding alone to more than $5 million.

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