Mt. Vernon Register-News

State News

March 17, 2014

Governor candidates gear up for Illinois primary



About 23 percent of Illinois' registered voters showed up to the polls in both 2012 and 2010 primaries, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections. In Chicago, it was a smidge higher, when about 24 percent of registered Chicago voters cast ballots in the 2012 primary and 27 percent in 2010's primary.

Both years were far below the 2008 primary when President Barack Obama was first elected. Almost 41 percent of Illinois' registered voters came to that year's primary and nearly 53 percent of Chicago voters did.

The crowds that showed up to events Monday were enthusiastic.

More than two dozen supporters filled the dining room of an Italian deli and grocery in the southern Illinois community of Herrin, where Rauner stopped late Monday.

Keith Camarato, a retired business owner, said he's supporting Rauner of Winnetka because he likes his plan to establish term limits for legislators. He also said it's time to put a businessman, not a politician, in power.

"I really like the term limit proposal," said Camarato, who raised his hands and clapped when Rauner mentioned the plan during his remarks. "I think that will clean house in Springfield. And that needs to be done."

Candidates' focus on Monday, however, remained on efforts to beat Quinn.

The Chicago Democrat, who is seeking a second full term, has hardly campaigned in the primary and kept a quieter-than-usual schedule with his gubernatorial duties in the last few weeks. He has said that he's focused on being governor, but has questioned the entrance of "big money" in the race, alluding to a possible challenge from Rauner, who has raised millions through his personal wealth and contacts.

Quinn's challenger, an anti-violence activist from suburban Chicago, traveled by car to scheduled stops at universities in Peoria, Champaign and Bloomington.

Tuesday's primary will also help determine a Republican challenger to Democratic U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin, U.S. House races in Chicago's suburbs and downstate and races for the state House and Senate.


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