As Governors Dine with the Obamas in D.C., Rauner Returns Home | NBC Chicago
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As Governors Dine with the Obamas in D.C., Rauner Returns Home

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    Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner delivers his inauguration address Monday, Jan. 12, 2015, in Springfield, Ill., after being sworn in as Illinois' 42nd governor.

    Governors from across the country are heading to the White House on Sunday night to break bread with the Obamas. But Illinois' own Bruce Rauner won't be in attendance.

    Rauner, who spent part of the weekend in the nation's capital attending the National Governors Association winter meeting, returned to Chicago ahead of the feast. He appeared on Sunday afternoon at a Chinese New Year parade in the city.

    The dinner often receives media attention, as the governors and their guests arrive. At least one of the possible GOP candidates for president in 2016, Wisconsin Gov. Scott Walker, plans to attend.

    A spokesperson for Rauner's office said the GOP governor, who ousted Democratic incumbent Pat Quinn in November, was never scheduled to attend the dinner.

    "The Governor and First Lady attended church services on the South Side, a Chinese New Year parade in Chicago and a Black History Month event in Belwood today," the statement said. "He was never scheduled to attend the dinner."

    The Illinois Republican, who has been to the White House before, was on hand on Thursday when the president came to town to officially sign the Pullman national landmark proclamation, but didn't get a spot on stage. 

    That presidential visit was also seen as a move to boost Mayor Rahm Emanuel's re-election bid ahead of Tuesday's vote. The mayor, a former top Obama aide, featured comments made during the stop in a closing campaign ad.


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