(CBS) — For the first time in more than 25 years, the Cook County Republican Party has made an endorsement in the governor’s race before the primary, reports WBBM’s Nancy Harty.

Winnetka businessman Bruce Rauner picked up the support of the Cook County GOP over rivals, Bill Brady, Kirk Dillard and Dan Rutherford.

County chair Aaron Del Mar says they decided to weigh in on the governor’s race before primary voters for the first time in decades because of too much competition in the last governor’s race

“There were so many candidates everything was split so widely between several candidates that we really wanted to make a big impact,” said Del Mar.

Del Mar says the endorsement shows Rauner is the most viable candidate to beat Governor Pat Quinn.

The party’s nominee who lost to Quinn in 2010, Bill Brady, received no votes in the polling.

Kirk Dillard issued a response to the endorsement saying, “Today’s endorsement is yet another sad example of Bruce Rauner buying the election.”

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