Dillard gets $50,000 from teachers union

State Sen. Kirk Dillard, a Hinsdale Republican, received a $50,000 campaign donation from the state's largest teachers union after being endorsed by the group last week.

The contribution Thursday from the Illinois Education Association's political arm comes as that union has joined with several others in the closing weeks of the GOP primary for governor to launch TV ads attacking Winnetka businessman Bruce Rauner.

The money could be helpful for Dillard, but the contribution could join the IEA endorsement as controversial with conservatives who decried the power of public employee unions in Illinois.

The $50,000 number pales in comparison to Rauner's fundraising, which has fueled his television campaign for months. The Winnetka businessman, for example, gave his campaign $501,000 earlier this week.

And Rauner has attacked “government union bosses” in those ads, putting Dillard's union endorsement directly at odds with him.

Rauner, Dillard, Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford of Chenoa and state Sen. Bill Brady of Bloomington are sprinting toward the March 18 primary and are set to meet Thursday at a debate that will be broadcast on ABC 7.

The IEA political fund also gave $25,000 to state Rep. Sandra Pihos of Glen Ellyn Thursday for her primary campaign against Thomas More Society attorney Peter Breen of Lombard.

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