Redux IL gov candidate Brady: I have the base to win (this time)
June 27, 2013, By Benjamin Yount | Illinois Watchdog, SPRINGFIELD — Bill Brady will not call himself the front runner in his latest bid for Illinois governor, but the three-time candidate is trying to humble-brag his way atop a potential four-person race for the Republican nomination.
One of the reasons I am doing is because I believe we can finish the job we started four years ago,” Brady said at the Springfield stop of his statewide fly around announcement. “We built a base of support that gave us nearly 1.8 million votes. No one else has that leg up in this race.”
Brady added that he won “98 of Illinois’ 102 counties” when he lost to Gov. Pat Quinn in November 2010. Quinn won Cook, Alexander, Jackson, and St. Clair counties.
Brady will face Chicago businessman Bruce Rauner and Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford in the March Republican primary. There’s talk that Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-Naperville, could join the fray.
Rutherford, by the way, also had 1.8 million people vote for him in the 2010 election.
Across the state Rutherford, received 1,811,293 votes while Brady got 1,745,219.
But Brady’s first campaign salvo went to Rauner, and his potentially huge campaign war chest.
“I believe that you earn primaries in Illinois, you don’t buy them,” Brady said Wednesday.
“I think it is going to be a strong primary, not (necessarily) a nasty one,” Randy Pollard, Illinois’ top Republican county chairman,
Pollard added that Brady, Rutherford and Dillard have all been through GOP primaries before, but that Rauner has not been tested.
The likely four-way race also sets up a regional battle for Illinois Republicans. Brady and Rutherford are from the more rural, downstate Illinois. While Rauner and Dillard are from Chicago and the Chicago suburbs respectively.
“You’ve got to play to the primary voters to get through the primary,” Pollard said as he noted that downstate, conservative voters make up most of the GOP’s primary voting base.
Brady tapped into that base in 2010, beating Dillard by less than 200 votes. But Brady’s conservative record caused him trouble in the more moderate Chicago suburbs.
“Because of the last election, my geographical presence has broadened dramatically,” Brady told reporters in the state capital. “We spent a lot of time and money getting to know the voters (in Chicago and the suburbs). I think, much less than last time, my candidacy is a statewide candidacy rather than a regional one.”
Brady ran in 2010 as a conservative who is pro-life, pro-gun and pro-school choice. He stuck with those same themes during his campaign announcement Wednesday.
Pollard said if Brady or any other GOP candidates are going to keep party in-fighting at bay, they have to stay true to their ideas all the way through next November’s election.
“Voters will see when (candidates) try to pretend and are not sincere with their message,” Pollard said.
Both Quinn and Chicago political insider Bill Daley have already jumped into the 2014 race for governor on the Democratic ticket.
Contact Benjamin Yount at Ben@IllinoisWatchdog.org and find him on Twitter @ILWatchdog.