GOP candidates debate

By WEEK Producer

February 18, 2014 Updated Feb 19, 2014 at 1:31 AM CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. -- The four Republican candidates for Governor of Illinois met again Tuesday night in Springfield for another debate.

It was the first debate since one of their number won the endorsement of the Illinois Education Association.

Senator Kirk Dillard got the endorsement of the IEA on Valentine's Day. A union endorsement is not exactly the present sought after by a GOP candidate for Governor, and Dillard defended it.

"I don't believe that Unions are not inherently bad," said GOP candidate for governor Senator Kirk Dillard.

Businessman Bruce Rauner had quoted President Franklin Roosevelt as saying public employees unions were "immoral". That was something the other candidates jumped on.

"They're not immoral. They serve their constituancy, the people they represent," GOP candidate Senator Bill Brady.

"To say employee unions and their bosses are immoral is inappropriate," said GOP candidate Senator Dan Rutherford.

Which put Rauner in the position of defending not only his own statement, but that of a Democratic President...

"President Roosevelt was very pro-union, but he was deeply troubled by government unions. There's a big difference," said GOP candidate Bruce Rauner.

Tuesdays debate comes one month before the primary election, and on the same day that Dan Rutherford pulled his TV campaign ads statewide.

A Rutherford spokesman said the Treasurer was not pulling out of the race, and that the Rutherford campaign would evaluate future TV markets before going forward.

To submit a comment on this article, your email address is required. We respect your privacy and your email will not be visible to others nor will it be added to any email lists.