Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

GOP Candidates Make Final Pitch on Eve of Primary

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Three of the four candidates hit the campaign trail in a last-ditch effort to win votes. MaryAnn Ahern reports.

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Watch: GOP Gubernatorial Candidate Forum

The 2014 Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidates participated in a forum on Tuesday, March 4, co-sponsored by NBC 5 Chicago and the University of Chicago’s Institute of Politics and Harris School of Public Policy.
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Republican candidates running for governor spent the last day before the primary election traveling around Illinois.

Front runner Bruce Rauner began and ended the day in Chicago, with several stops throughout the state in between.

As he continued a three-day statewide tour, Rauner said he wants to "rip the corruption out of Springfield."

"Lower taxes and lower spending in Springfield, great schools in every school district, great vocational training as part of that," Rauner told a group in Chicago.

Meanwhile, State Sen. Kirk Dillard visited East Alton, Marion, Champaign and suburban Chicago, and campaigned with his consistent ally -- former Gov. Jim Edgar.

"We're not just relying on Democrats crossing over or independents. We have a broad base of Republican support, I'm endorsed by many conservative groups," Dillard said in Elmhurst.

State Sen. Bill Brady's schedule includes stops in Springfield, Chicago, Urbana, Marion and Peoria, where he marched in the St. Patrick's Day parade.

"Just like four years ago when we won the primary, we'll win this if our voters turn out to vote. We're right on the issues," Brady said.

Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford didn't do any public campaigning. His spokesman has said he's focused on making phone calls, but Rutherford did release a statement calling himself a "reasonable Republican," and asking for votes.

The latest We Ask America poll gives Rauner the lead with 44 percent, Dillard 27, Brady 19 and Rutherford 9.

Democrat Tio Hardiman who's running against Gov. Pat Quinn, visited universities in Peoria, Champaign and Bloomington.

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