Republican State Senator May Challenge Rauner in Primary - NBC Chicago
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Republican State Senator May Challenge Rauner in Primary

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner may end up with a challenger in the March 2018 Republican primary. Mary Ann Ahern reports.

    (Published Wednesday, July 19, 2017)

    Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner may end up with a challenger in the March 2018 Republican primary.

    GOP state Sen. Sam McCann said Tuesday he is contemplating making a run against the first-term governor.

    "I am considering it," McCann told NBC 5, adding, "I have not made a decision."

    McCann, from Jacksonville, about 35 miles west of Springfield in central Illinois, was targeted by Rauner in his recent campaign for re-election to the Senate, after McCann had voted in favor of the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) union, contrary to the governor's wishes.

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    (Published Tuesday, July 18, 2017)

    Rauner spent between $4 and 5 million unsuccessfully trying to defeat McCann in the 2016 Republican primary for the 50th Senate District.

    Sources say McCann would run as a pro-Trump, pro-union Republican. He said he will wait until the school funding issue is solved before making his decision.

    "I don't want to introduce any more political distractions into what is already a chaotic paradigm," McCann said. "I want to work members of both chambers and both parties and the governor to solve and implement a compromise solution regarding school funding."

    For now, McCann said "politics can and will have to take a backseat for awhile."

    The latest financial reports show Rauner has the most campaign cash of all the candidates, Democrat or Republican, with $67.6 million on hand.

    That’s more than all the Democratic candidates combined, as JB Pritzker is next with $4.9 million, State Sen. Daniel Biss has $2.3 million, Chris Kennedy has $959,000 and Ameya Pawar has $229,000.

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