Dan Rutherford can look forward to more campaigning all he wants, but it’s over.
Meet your new Republican candidate for Illinois governor, ready to take on Pat Quinn: Bruce Rauner.
By choosing not to release the results of an internal investigation related to allegations made by a former employee, Rutherford has essentially put the final nail in the coffin of what was looking like an exceedingly long shot to victory to begin with.
Published news reports have made it appear that Rutherford, who is the subject of a sexual harassment lawsuit from a former employee, was forced to choose between his legal future and his political one once the investigation was started. And it seems he’s chosen the legal one.
Chicago-based attorney Peter Andjelkovich told The Associated Press that the decision was "100 percent my doing." He said information found during the investigation would be used to fight the lawsuit in court, not through the public.
"It's my instructions to Dan, and it's not his choosing to discuss the matter or put the information out more than he's done already," Andjelkovich said. "We have to play under the rules of the federal courts in Chicago. ... Federal courts do not like the litigants out litigating the case."
But the truth is, Rutherford himself was the one who put himself in the position in the first place. Not by being the subject of a lawsuit—anyone in or out of public office can find themselves in that situation, and the public and the press has an obligation to assume someone is innocent until they’re proven guilty.
Instead, Rutherfrod came to this moment way back on January 31st, the day he first held the news conference announcing the then-unspecified charges and attempting to link them to Rauner.
On that day, Rutherford may a big show of promising to get to the bottom of everything on his own, even standing with a former FBI agent whom the treasurer said his office had hired to ferret out the truth.
Following the first press conference, many political observers knew that for Rutherford to survive politically, a lot had to go right in the following days and weeks before Primary Day.
Not much has since then. And now, with the decision not to release the internal report, not much else will, either.
So, it’s Rauner.
I mean, it’s not like it’s going to be Kirk Dillard or Bill Brady, is it?