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Article updated: 1/24/2013 7:59 AM

GOP governor contenders mostly mum on Brady

By Kerry Lester Mike Riopell

There are a host of divergent views on whether Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady of St. Charles should keep his party post after voicing his support for same-sex marriage.

But the growing field of potential GOP gubernatorial candidates is staying largely silent for now, wading cautiously into the political murk that could potentially cost them votes.

Largely, the rumored candidates ducked, dodged and wove, or simply didn't return phone calls.

Steve Dutton, spokesman for Congressman Aaron Schock, of Peoria, said the Peoria Republican was largely "out of pocket" Wednesday and directed the Daily Herald to a recent central Illinois radio station clip, where Schock said he didn't agree with Brady's recent comments, but didn't go so far as to say Brady should step down.

State Sen. Bill Brady, the Bloomington Republican who nearly won the governor race in 2010, said he doesn't support gay marriage, but he also told a downstate radio station he'd stop short of calling for the chairman's ouster.

"He's got a board he has to answer to," said Sen. Brady, who is not related to the GOP chair. "It's a volunteer position that he was elected to by the state central committee. I assume at some point in time there will be discussion and depending on what that board's reaction will be, the outcome of whether or not he retains his chairmanship will follow."

Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford of Chenoa didn't return a message left at his campaign office this week. Neither did venture capitalist Bruce Rauner, of Chicago.

Only state Sen. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale, who described Pat Brady as a "gregarious and fearless leader," said he agreed with Pat Brady that the party needs to be more open and inclusive and gain additional supporters. Yet, Dillard said, Brady should have notified the state central committee about his planned statements, suggesting he make a "gingerly apology."

"I have not called for his resignation," Dillard said. "That's up to the state central committee."

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