SPRINGFIELD - State Treasurer Dan Rutherford's 2014 gubernatorial bid hit an insurmountable obstacle six weeks before the primary, when an employee stepped forward accusing Rutherford of political and sexual harassment.
Rutherford immediately denied the charges and alleged the accusations were a plot by one of his opponents to torpedo his gubernatorial bid. However, the damage was done, and Rutherford sank in the polls to last place.
Tuesday, Rutherford issued a post-election statement about the charges, about his future, and about the leadership needed in Illinois. While not directly naming him, he seemed to take a swipe at GOP gubernatorial nominee Bruce Rauner, writing:
"I want to personally thank you for your support in our bid for governor. The outcome was not what we had hoped, but I am proud of our effort. I appreciate all of the people throughout the state who stood behind us during this race.
I am eternally grateful to Steve Kim, my lt. governor. Steve was a wonderful running mate who, along with his family and friends, stepped up to the plate and worked hard across the state.
As I said on Primary Election night, Dan Rutherford is not going away. I will be back, and we will be stronger than ever. I will successfully fight and vindicate myself of the false allegations lobbed at me during the final weeks of the campaign. Allegations like this have never been made against me in my 22 years of public service.
Illinois residents deserve government leaders who can be trusted. We need people who care and take pride in restoring our state and do not destroy others to get what they want. Politics need to be cleaned up and to do so we must keep good, honest people involved. This is our state and it belongs to us all.
Additionally, I will continue to work towards making my Republican Party more diverse because without diversity we will continue to be the minority. I will also dedicate myself to drawing fair legislative maps during redistricting and getting the Constitutional Amendment on the ballot and adopted.
I am honored to have been your State Treasurer. This is not the end but the beginning of a new chapter. I look forward to working with you and I thank you. I give my heartfelt gratitude to my family, team and supporters. Your friendship will never be forgotten."
Rutherford had no comment when asked if he intends to endorse Bruce Rauner for governor.