Dillard plans announcement for governor this summer

SPRINGFIELD — State Sen. Kirk Dillard, a Hinsdale Republican who lost his party's 2010 nomination for governor by just a handful of votes, says he's preparing for a summer announcement for a 2014 repeat run.

Dillard said Tuesday he was focusing on lawmakers' annual session that ended Friday. Now, he's working through the logistics to roll out his candidacy soon, including booking time at Hinsdale City Hall for an event.

“I will have an announcement sometime this summer after a look at my children's summer schedule,” Dillard said.

The man who narrowly beat Dillard three years ago in the Republican primary, state Sen. Bill Brady of Bloomington, is expected to take another shot, too. Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford of Chenoa has already announced his bid, and Chicago businessman Bruce Rauner has been touring the state to weigh his options.

Dillard, a longtime DuPage County senator, is serving a 2-year term in Springfield, so a statewide bid would have to come at the expense of his seat at the Capitol.

Dillard's pitch to voters is likely to include his time working as chief of staff to popular former Republican Govs. Jim Thompson and Jim Edgar. And he has highlighted before the potential value in having a Republican candidate from the suburbs, where the general election could be largely fought again this year.

In 2010, the presence of three DuPage County candidates on the ballot is partly thought to have led to Dillard's 193-vote statewide primary loss as Brady rolled downstate. This time, Brady and Rutherford might split some downstate votes, and Rauner's apparent willingness to spend some of his fortune on the race will factor in, too.

Whether voters want to elevate Dillard to the general election shot he never got or are inclined to give a new face a chance could be at the root of the race.

On the Democratic side, Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to run for a second full term, and potential runs by Attorney General Lisa Madigan and former President Barack Obama chief of staff Bill Daley could mean heated primary races at the top of both party ballots.

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