All eyes on republican gubernatorial primary race

By WEEK Producer

March 18, 2014 Updated Mar 18, 2014 at 10:42 PM CDT

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. – The republican gubernatorial race is among those getting a lot of attention.

The four candidates in the running are Bruce Rauner, Bill Brady, Kirk Dillard and Dan Rutherford.

Bloomington State Senator Bill Brady captured the spotlight four years ago when he won the republican gubernatorial nomination.

Despite being an underdog Brady said he is feeling good after the TV debates and is optimistic about winning tonight.

We caught up with Brady on Tuesday after he voted at a church. He said this time around he has built a larger base.

"I had the opportunity to visit with some black ministers and black leaders on the south side of Chicago, latino leaders around the state,” Brady said. “We've been building a bigger base but our message I think is what really stands out. Cutting taxes to create jobs, eliminating the state board of education to give parents and students a better opportunity and term limits to give people back their government.”

Brady calls himself the most reliable compared to State Senator Kirk Dillard and Chicago businessman Bruce Rauner but he must win big in Chicago to secure the nomination.

The other downstate Republican candidate for Governor is current state treasurer Dan Rutherford.

Controversy has swarmed his campaign and many don't give Rutherford a fighting chance.

Rutherford cast his ballot in Livingston County.

Although Rutherford is largely expected to come in fourth, he walked into the polling place smiling. He cast his ballot, shook a few hands and was out the door. He would not speak with the media.

He is expected to spend the rest of his day making phone calls and thanking his campaign supporters.

Rutherford and his running mate are expected to address the media after the polls close.

Venture capitalist Bruce Rauner cast his ballot in Winnetka on Tuesday morning. Rauner told reporters that he wants to reform Illinois’ government in the mold of other midwestern republican governors.

Polls show Rauner as the front runner, but union leaders aren't buying it. They worry that Rauner would push for anti-union legislation similar to what Governor Scott Walker did in Wisconsin.

Republican candidate Kirk Dillard voted in Chicago Tuesday morning. Dillard served as chief of staff for former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar.

At this point, his political past may not be endearing him to voters. Some polls have Dillard 20 points behind Rauner.

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.