When the Republican Party launches its quadrennial celebration in Cleveland this week to anoint its nominee for president, some prominent party faithful from Illinois won't be there.
First-term U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk is out-front with his reason — he doesn't like the presumptive nominee, businessman Donald Trump, calling him "too bigoted and racist" for the job.
But other top leaders, including Gov. Bruce Rauner, are joining Republicans from around the country in ditching the convention without saying why. Many face tough re-election races in November and are trying to distance themselves from the contentious name at the top of the ticket.
"I will be...