Governor Rauner "not too involved in local races" - WSIL-TV 3 Southern Illinois

Governor Rauner "not too involved in local races"

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WSIL -- Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner describes the upcoming November election as a choice between supporting either the status quo or his reform agenda.

As political ads funded by both sides of the aisle fill the airwaves, Rauner seeks to distance himself from what many are calling a bitter campaign season.

"I'm very focused on growing the Illinois economy. That's where I'm spending my time. I'm not too involved in races," Rauner said.

Rauner said his time is focused on building support for items on his reform agenda, including term limits and freezing property taxes.

But his money, at least $2 million so far, has gone to political action committees pledging financial aid to candidates who back his agenda, according to records from the State Board of Elections.

One of those PACS, Liberty Principles, has come under scrutiny by the Board of Elections for failing to identify themselves as paying for mock newspapers mailed to voters featuring articles that support Republicans.

"That particular issue, that PAC, those newspapers. I don't know really much about so I can't comment on that," Rauner said.

To Republican representative Terri Bryant, of Murphysboro, high-dollar spending on campaign ads is just part of the process.

"Last year a speaker spent a million and a half dollars against me on ads, all negative," Bryant said.

Bryant says it can be tough not to take attack ads personally.

"I don't like it, it doesn't feel good when you get up in the morning. It's terrible when you try to talk to your family about what's going on," Bryant said.

Campaign season coincides with an ongoing effort by state lawmakers to work out a budget deal. Rauner remains confident it won't affect negotiations.

"I think we are all mature enough to know that politics is rough and tumble this is rough in Illinois, that's its own process," Rauner said.

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