Republican candidate for Governor Bruce Rauner joined state Sen. Dan Duffy of Lake Barrington on a tour of barbershops on Chicago's South Side last weekend.
Duffy, who was born on the South Side, has done the tour via the Young Government organization regularly over the past five years in an effort to learn the concerns of small business owners and voters in the black community.
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Rauner's tour Saturday morning was the candidate's second, with his first barbershop tour coming before he announced his run for governor, Duffy said.
Duffy said he's been a friend of Rauner for a while and said the trip could help the Winnetka businessman connect with voters Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn might take for granted.
"It's been a great way to meet people," Duffy said. "He really connected well with people in the urban community."
Quinn gets clergy backing
Quinn, meanwhile, announced Thursday he's gotten the backing of several Chicago faith leaders, including the Rev. Michael Pfleger, a longtime South Side priest.
"From early childhood to after-school programs to college opportunities, he has shown a unique understanding that education is the best path out of poverty for communities in need," Pfleger said in a statement.
Three's a crowd
U.S. Rep. Peter Roskam's bid to rise from being the No. 4 House Republican to No. 3 gained more competition Thursday when Indiana Republican Marlin Stutzman entered the race.
It already included Steve Scalise of Louisiana, chairman of the House Republican Study Group.
Roskam, a Wheaton Republican, holds the No. 4 post of chief deputy whip, but the move to whip clearly won't be a simple one. Time will tell if Stutzman's candidacy could draw support from Scalise and ultimately help Roskam.
It'd be helpful to have Illinois' six Republican members on board, but congressman Aaron Schock of Peoria is backing Scalise, his office confirmed.
Roskam has the backing of fellow suburban Republican Rep. Randy Hultgren of Winfield. If Roskam is unable to win next week's leadership election, it's unclear what his future in the House hierarchy will be.
One Scalise argument is that the House leadership team needs a red-stater in its ranks. House Speaker John Boehner of Ohio and likely new Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy of California are blue-staters, like Roskam.
Roskam will argue, though, that being whip is about finding votes from Republicans from across the country, not one region or another.
As former Speaker Dennis Hastert told the Daily Herald this week, the race is sure to be complicated. But it also could be largely wrapped up well before next week's election.
Of course, one of the lessons of House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's loss this week is a reminder that predictions in politics are easier to make than confirm.
So far, Roskam hasn't said much publicly about the bid, but he'll likely remain as a part of the national conversation no matter what because he's sitting on the committee tasked with investigating the 2012 terrorist attacks in Benghazi, Libya.
The loss that sparked the Washington leadership fight drove observers to the Internet to try to rank the shock of Eric Cantor's loss against other political surprises in history.
On The Washington Post's list: Democrat Melissa Bean's 2004 upset of suburban Republican institution Phil Crane.
It was Bean's second try for the seat, and she lost the 2002 race by a wide margin. Bean was defeated in the 2010 Republican national wave by Joe Walsh of McHenry.
The difference with Cantor's loss was that he fell to a member of his own party in a primary.