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Rauner Campaigns In Western Illinois

TSPR's Emily Boyer

During another swing through western Illinois, Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner said voters in the region are complaining to him about crumbling infrastructure, deteriorating schools, and high taxes.Rauner said he will change things if elected.

"We are going to shake up that culture in Springfield," Rauner said. "We are going to run the government right. We are going to focus on more jobs, lower taxes, better schools and term limits on these politicians. Those are the four things we are going to focus on like a laser."

But, Rauner's term limit initiative will not go before voters on the November ballot. The question was deemed unconstitutional by Illinois' courts.
Rauner hoped the General Assembly will bring up the proposal next session.

Rauner said he wants to revamp Illinois to make the state an attractive option for businesses and families. He said Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan -- which have Republican governors -- are getting turned around and he wants to do the same in Illinois.

Rauner also said he wants to give back to the state by serving as governor.  He said he doesn't need a job and is not looking for a political career.

"I know we can transform this  government so it is run for your benefit. I'm not even going to take a salary or pension. I can afford not to and I would prefer the taxpayers keep that money."

Rauner considered his financial security a benefit and said it's something that sets him apart from previous Illinois governors.

Credit TSPR's Emily Boyer
Bruce Rauner meets with voters after giving his campaign speech at the McDonough County Republican Party headquarters

"I am financially independent," Rauner said. "I can't be bought, bribed or intimidated. I am going to stand up to those special interest groups and some of those corrupt politicians like they have never been stood up to before."

Rauner said he believes the biggest challenge this election will be convincing those who don't normally vote during non-presidential elections to go to the polls.

"Democracy doesn't work when voters stay home," Rauner said. "We are a one party state.  One party has driven us into the ditch for twelve years.  We have to rebuild the Republican Party."

Rauner called Democratic Governor Pat Quinn the worst governor in America.

Rauner spoke at the McDonough County Republican Party headquarters in Macomb over the weekend as part of his "Shake Up Express" bus tour.

This was Rauner's second trip to Macomb in the last month. During the first visit, McDonough County Republicans presented him with a $10,000 check.

Rauner also made stops over the weekend in Galesburg, Carthage, Quincy, and Pittsfield.

Emily Boyer is a former reporter at Tri States Public Radio.