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Republican governor candidates do last-minute campaigning

ElectionsKirk DillardExecutive BranchBill BradyIllinois Governor

With the primary election a few days away, Republican governor candidates fanned out across Illinois to shake voters' hands and attempt to score some last-minute support.

State Sens. Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard hit the St. Patrick's parade in Naperville.

Brady, who won the 2010 Republican governor primary, wore a green shamrock scarf while introducing himself to parade-goers, young and old, seated in lawn chairs along Mill Street.

"We're just about getting our vote out," said Brady, who is from Bloomington. "As long as we get our vote out, we're going to win on Tuesday."

Brady's weekend schedule was chock full of Irish-themed events. He planned to hit the Chicago St. Patrick's Day parade later Saturday, the South Side Irish Parade on Sunday in Chicago and then attend a corned beef and cabbage dinner in Moline, according to his campaign schedule.

Brady cited his narrow loss to Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn in the 2010 general election as a reason he should get another shot. "I've got a base to build on that no one else has," Brady said. "I rally the support of the entire Republican party."

Almost directly behind Brady in the Naperville parade was Dillard, who lost the primary four years ago by 193 votes. In his home territory of DuPage County, Dillard waved to the crowd as campaign volunteers in Dillard for Governor T-shirts threw candy to kids on the sidewalks. 

Clad in a green sweater he said he bought from a golf club in Ireland and a "Kiss me I'm Irish" fleece scarf, Dillard said he guessed he would shake "thousands of hands" over the next few days.

"I'm trying to get out and do as much retail campaigning as possible," said Dillard, who planned to attend a senior citizen event in Bolingbrook and an event at Elmhurst College later today.

Dillard said he hopes to impress upon voters that he's the only Republican candidate who could beat Quinn in November. "I'm tested and prepared," said Dillard, a lawmaker for two decades and former chief of staff to Republican Gov. Jim Edgar.

Wealthy first-time candidate Bruce Rauner of Winnetka is spending the weekend campaigning in southern and central Illinois.

Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford, still feeling the political effects of last month's federal lawsuit filed by a former employee, did not make his campaign schedule available to reporters. A spokesman had said Rutherford planned to head Downstate Sunday for the rest of the campaign ahead of Tuesday's primary election.

mmanchir@tribune.com

Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun
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