News Local/State

GOP Senator Dillard Makes Run for Governor Official


Republican state Sen. Kirk Dillard has launched his 2014 campaign for governor outside his childhood home in Chicago.

Dillard lost the 2010 GOP primary to state Sen. Bill Brady. Dillard says he's learned lessons since then.  He's billing himself as a good candidate because he's a suburban Chicago politician with downstate votes.

Dillard trails other Republican candidates in fundraising, including venture capitalist Bruce Rauner.

But Dillard says he'll be able to raise what he needs and is announcing his bid this time with more money than 2010.

Without detailing his campaign strategy - Dillard emphasized he could turn things around for a party that’s been struggling in recent years in Illinois.

"As I found out four years ago, every vote counts," he said.  "And I need your vote. So it boils down to this for Republicans: I’m actually a Republican that can win a general election."

Dillard says if elected - he would create a new office tasked with reducing the size of other government offices.

During a campaign stop in the Quad Cities Monday, Dillard said he'll propose a constitutional amendment that automatically freezes payroll if legislators are unable to balance the budget, and another to address the pension system. 

"Let me be clear," he said.  "If the pension mess isn't taken care of by when I get there, I will fix it and we will stop wasting $17 million a day in unpaid interest."

Dillard addressed a handful of supporters in Chicago Monday to mark the start of a two-day statewide tour.   Along with being a state senator, Dillard also served as chief of staff to former Governor Jim Edgar.