Bruce Rauner

Illinois Democrats, minus Biden, boost election hopefuls

Joe Biden bowed out as keynote speaker but Illinois Democrats matched the verbal salvos from Republican opponents at their annual state fair rally on Thursday that marked the informal start of the fall campaign.

Biden, the former vice president, did not attend the Democratic County Chairs' Association brunch because of illness. His pinch-hitter, a rising Democrat from Indiana, stepped up with his own critique of President Donald Trump's America and the state of Illinois after nearly four years of GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner.

Pete Buttigieg, mayor of South Bend, Indiana, said that Rauner, a private equity investor, had promised to bring a business approach to government.