Rauner Visits Southern Illinois

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By Matthew Searcy

WSIL -- Republican candidate for governor Bruce Rauner is wrapping up a swing through Southern Illinois. On Monday, he met with voters in Marion and Vienna as part of his bus tour. 

Rauner was very vocal about protecting and maintaining the natural resources in Southern Illinois. He says tourist destinations like state parks and wildlife areas can be utilized to create more jobs and improve the economy.  
 
"The outdoors can generate a lot of economic activity," said Rauner.  
 
He claims recent state budget cuts have hurt promotion of the state's natural resources. If elected, he promises to team up with state conservationists to preserve parks and wildlife areas in hopes of boosting the state's economy.  
 
"Our gas stations can get more gas sold to tourists and travelers," explained Rauner. "It can help our hotels and restaurants."
 
Rauner continues to hammer Governor Quinn's record on the economy, despite last week's news that Illinois unemployment reached a six-year-low.   
 
"Technically the unemployment rate has fallen but we have had 4,200 net jobs lost this year," said Rauner. "Pat Quinn shouldn't be celebrating the unemployment rate. We should be growing our jobs and that's where he is failing."
     
He says the lower rate reflects the long-term unemployed leaving the job market.  
 
"A lot of Illinois people have given up looking for work and they have withdrawn from the workforce," explained Rauner. "That's a terrible trend." 
 
It's a line of attack that seems to be working with prospective Illinois voters. 
 
"He's pretty consistently led all of the polls that I have seen for the last two or three weeks," said Paul Simon Public Policy Institute Political Analyst John Jackson.  
 
Jackson expects the race to tighten before November but believes Pat Quinn is in danger of losing his job. 
 
"The polls will close up and be closer, but certainly right now Rauner has given every indication that he has a very good chance of winning," said Jackson.  
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