Those gathered at the event awaited and cheered as Bruce Rauner, the Republican candidate for Illinois Governor, began greeting those in attendance.
Rauner made Galesburg a stop on a multi-city bus tour around the area. The Winnetka businessman will be squaring off against incumbent Governor Pat Quinn for the position. Rauner says Quinn has failed in his capacity on jobs and the economy.
“He’s also failed on taxes, he’s raised taxes when he promised that he wouldn’t,” says Rauner. “That income tax was temporary. He’s a big taxer. He’s also failed on schools, he’s cut education funding by half a billion dollars when he didn’t have to cut it, and he’s under federal investigation for corruption. He’s failed as Governor.”
Quinn appeared this week at a pipe and conduit manufacturer and called Illinois’ year-over-year drop in unemployment “momentous” according to the Associated Press. Illinois saw July’s unemployment figure reported at 6.8-percent compared with 9.2-percent for this period one year ago.
Rauner attributed some of the reported drop to residents giving up their search for work.
State Senator Darin LaHood and State Representatives Norine Hammond and Don Moffitt joined Rauner during Friday’s appearance, if nothing else, to introduce the candidate to the mostly Republican Party supporters.
“I can’t be bought, bribed, or intimidated,” Rauner told the crowd. “I’m financially independent. I’m not even going to take a salary, I’m not even going to take a pension.”
Rauner was scheduled to speak during at least seven different events on Friday.
Amid the backdrop of an ongoing teacher strike in Galesburg, Rauner says he wants to empower taxpayers to have more control over their school budgets.
“We’re 48 out of 50 states,” says Rauner. “We’re at the bottom of the barrel on state support for education. I want more money coming from the state in the school districts just like in Galesburg so you’ve got more money to support your schools and get high quality schools in every district.”
The Republican candidate for Governor met with veterans as well as teachers earlier on Friday during his various stops – information he says will be implemented into a policy platform going forward.
He has been facing recent questions over a budget proposal as well as questions about his personal taxes. On the question of taxes, Rauner said he would like to see the tax and regulatory burden on businesses reduced.
Voters will have the chance to decide on the Governor’s race in November’s election.