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Rauner Spending Big In Gubernatorial Race

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Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner. (Credit: CBS)

Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner. (Credit: CBS)

Jay Levine Jay Levine
Jay Levine is the chief correspondent for CBS 2 Chicago. He joined...
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DANVILLE, Ill. (CBS) — While polls now indicate businessman Bruce Rauner is leading the race for the GOP nomination for Governor, most voters don’t know much about him.

CBS 2 Chief Correspondent Jay Levine went downstate to Danville in search of a man who’s become a real force in the race for governor through a series of TV and Internet ads.

The spots are good, really good. In some of them, he says nothing at all.

“I’m very successful and I’ve been a leader at everything I’ve done,” said Rauner.

But the ads have worked, and Rauner now leads the four-way race, according to last month’s poll by public policy polling, with 24 percent of those responding to Bill Brady’s 17 percent, Dan Rutherford’s 14 percent, and Kirk Dillard’s 10 percent and with 36 percent undecided. The margin of error is between 4 and 5 percent.

“If you have the money, it’s much better to control the message to get it to your audience directly then it to allow a third party to come in and potentially contaminate that message,” said political consultant Thom Serafin.

And Rauner, the multimillionaire who talks about putting 40,000 miles on his old Ford crisscrossing the state, plans to spend plenty to do it.

“We’ve raised about $6 million so far in the race. I’ve put in a little over $1 million myself I’ll be putting in some significant over time,” said Rauner.

In fact, he’s already raised and spent more than all his GOP opponents combined, though he spends most of his time attacking Pat Quinn and organized labor.

“I’m not anti-union, I’m anti conflict of interest. We need a balance of power. Today the government union bosses have Springfield in their grasp they control it,” said Rauner.

How that kind of message will play in an overwhelmingly union state, a beachhead for organized labor in the Midwest, could well determine whether Bruce Rauner wins or loses.

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