Illinois News

Republicans rally at Illinois State Fair

Thursday, August 16, 2012

Republicans rallied at the Illinois State Fair Thursday, one day after demonstrators booed Governor Pat Quinn. They say the state's problems may finally persuade voters to make a change.

In heavily Democratic Illinois, Republicans look for any edge that they can get, so Thursday afternoon they were making the most of Wednesday's ruined Democratic party picnic.

"It's gotta be rough to stand out here and get booed off the stage by your own political base," said Sen. Matt Murphy, (R) Palatine.

During their own day at the fair, Republicans were buzzing about what happened to Democrats on these same picnic grounds 24 hours earlier.

"I think it's representative of a lot of frustration that a lot of Illinoisans have with the Democrats in the state of Illinois," said Illinois Republican Chairman Pat Brady.

"I felt kind of sorry for Quinn, because that was a terrible deluge he had to deal with," said Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka.

Wednesday, hundreds of public employee union members -- angry at what they called broken promises -- crashed the Democratic party's picnic. They booed and heckled during Quinn's attempt to address party leaders and members who had traveled to Springfield to attend the festivities on what's called Governor's Day at the fair.

"Pat Quinn is not a strong leader," said Sen. Kirk Dillard, (R) Hinsdale.

Senator Dillard and at least three other elected officials at the state party convention say Pat Quinn's latest political trouble is another reason for them to consider running for governor in 2014.

"Certainly what happened yesterday has me even more focused on whether I will run statewide again," Dillard said.

"Let me just say bluntly, it's an option that's out there," said Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford.

"I'm certainly going to take a very serious look at it after the first of the year," said Sen. Bill Brady, (R) Bloomington.

"If there's an interest in me running, I'm interested in helping the state turnaround," said Sen. Murphy.

But party chairman Brady said it was too early to think about 2014.

"Every Republican should concentrate on getting Republicans elected this November," said Brady. "There's plenty of time to think about 2014."

Governor Quinn spent most of Thursday downstate. He has a meeting scheduled for Friday morning with the four General Assembly leaders on pension reform, but the Republican leaders made it clear Thursday they have seen no plan on the table to which they will agree.

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