Illinois governor's race showcases union fears

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Associated Press

Posted on March 6, 2014 at 1:34 PM

Updated Thursday, Mar 6 at 1:36 PM

CHICAGO (AP) — When wealthy Republican businessman Bruce Rauner decided to run for Illinois governor, it was clear this wouldn't be the kind of race the state was used to. Rauner bragged of being beholden to no one and accused "government union bosses" of worsening the state's budget problems. Organized labor responded by pumping millions of dollars into television ads targeting the challenger.

Rauner has committed more than $6 million of his own money to the battle, and is considered a strong favorite in the primary March 18. The intensity of the race demonstrates what can happen when a wealthy businessman's ambitions trigger labor unions' worst fears.

Union members fear a repeat of what happened in other Midwestern states like Wisconsin when GOP governors came in and passed anti-labor legislation.

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