UPDATE x1: GOP gubernatorial candidate State Senator Bill Brady responded to opponent Kirk Dillard's comments that were similar to State Sen. Dave Syverson's. Brady said:
"If Senator Dillard had his way, we’d have a candidate who’s best friends with Rahm Emanuel and given hundreds of thousands to Democrat candidates, running against a guy who helped get Barack Obama elected with a commercial. I thought this was a Republican primary.
Illinois needs real leadership like I will provide, not someone who caved in to supporters and voted for video poker because, as he said, he had a gun to his head."
ROCKFORD - One Republican state senator and member of the GOP State Central Committee says it's time for two candidates to step out of the GOP gubernatorial primary in order to keep Chicago businessman Bruce Rauner from heading the GOP ticket in November.
"It's time that Dan Rutherford and Bill Brady do what's right for the state of Illinois, and step out," State Sen. Dave Syverson (R-Rockford) told Illinois Review Thursday. "Having Bruce Rauner at the head of the ticket will bring out the Democrats and union forces, and we'll lose good Republican candidates down the ticket, like Bobby Schilling and Mike Bost in the General [Election]."
Syverson believes the recent union losses at Volkswagen and in Michigan, will make Illinois "ground zero" in the fight for unions, with tens of thousands of union members converge on Illinois in November. "They're focused on keeping their territory, and will do what they need to do to win."
The State Senator argues that Rauner hasn't been vetted, and the Democrats will have the resources to run one attack ad after another against him.
"If all three stay in the race, conservatives will split their votes between Brady, Dillard and Rutherford, Rauner will win, and we'll have Pat Quinn for four more years," Syverson said.
Why should Brady and Rutherford be the ones to step down?
"Rutherford's numbers are already falling, and Brady's name ID from 2010 is all he has in 2014," Syverson told IR. He thinks questions about Dan Rutherford's sexual and political harassment charges are crippling the state treasurer's campaign, while the media now begins looking into possible conflict of interest votes surrounding Bill Brady's business dealings. Both candidates vehemently deny the charges that have been raised.
All that points to what Syverson refers to as "Dillard's squeaky clean" record and Syverson's endorsement of his Senate colleague. "We're not going to be surprised by new revelations on Dillard like we will see with Rauner," he said. "Kirk is boring, but squeaky clean."
Syverson was on the Illinois Republican Party State Central Committee in 2004 when the party establishment abandoned GOP U.S. Senate candidate Jack Ryan following negative press about his divorce. He fears the same gotcha media coverage will plague Rauner in the General Election.
"I was disappointed when the party chairman called on Ryan to step down then," Syverson said. "Illinois Republicans aren't known for standing by media-attacked candidates."
Syverson also opposes Rauner's effort to promote term limits for legislators, believing the problem isn't veteran lawmakers as much as it is the way the district maps are drawn and Democrats' power.
"Don't forget that in the fine print of that Term Limit proposal, Madigan will be given even more House members to dictate Illinois' public policy," Syverson told IR.
But Syverson was most adamant that two of the three candidates challenging Rauner should get out of the race right away.
"If Brady and Rutherford don't step down, we'll blow this chance to get a Republican in office and gain back Republican congressional seats," Syverson said. "And we'll have Pat Quinn to deal with for four more years.