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Republicans Seek To 'Bring Back Illinois'

Updated: Friday, August 15 2014, 11:13 AM CDT
ILLINOIS -- Bring back Illinois and shape up Springfield. You've probably heard Bruce Rauner's campaign messages many times already. But today's Republican Day rally reflected many of those themes as Republican leaders addressed their supporters at the state fair to talk about what they're going to do to rebuild the grand ole party.

"You know what it's time for folks? It's time to rotate the crops in Springfield."

Echoing his often-heard campaign slogan, Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner says he wants to change the culture in Springfield, and the Republican party.

"We are going to rebuild the Republican party from the grass roots up, so we are strong and dominant and a powerful competitor in every race, in every election, up and down the ballot every cycle going forward."

For many within the party, that means changing the perceptions of who the party represents.

"Who wants their state back? I want my state back," said Evelyn Sanguinetti, Lt. Gov. candidate.

A big push recently has been to expand the party's appeal to minority voters and minority communities.

"We haven't always shown up in those neighborhoods to the extent we need to, but that's changing and you saw it on display here today," said Senator Matt Murphy.

Many say Senator Mark Kirk and Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka have been more progressive than more Republicans on social issues. Representatives say that, too, is changing.

"It's not about dividing, it's about bringing people together, and that's exacly what I think the republican party is trying to do," added Congressman Rodney Davis.

Democrats have been saying there's a class divide in Illinois, portraying Rauner as the billionaire who's out of touch with working class people. But Rauner says his wealth is no secret and that he's proud of what he's earned, and that running for governor is his way of giving back.

"I'm living the American dream and I want the American dream for every family and every young person in our state," Rauner said.

Just over 80 days to go until the November 4 election. Despite a contentious primary election earlier this spring, it appears Republicans are unified behind Bruce Rauner.

All three of his primary opponents; Bill Brady, Kirk Dillard, and Dan Rutherford, made appearances at Republican party events today to show their support for Rauner.Republicans Seek To 'Bring Back Illinois'

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