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Where Does Gov. Rauner Stand on Trump?

As the Republican National Convention marches on, some in Illinois are wondering where Gov. Bruce Rauner stands on the GOP's presumptive nominee, Donald Trump. (Illinois.gov)
As the Republican National Convention marches on, some in Illinois are wondering where Gov. Bruce Rauner stands on the GOP's presumptive nominee, Donald Trump. (Illinois.gov)
July 20, 2016

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Some Illinois residents are wondering where Governor Bruce Rauner stands on the presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump. As Trump prepares to speak to the Republican National Convention on Thursday, Illinois voters are asking whether the state's Republican governor supports the GOP front-runner.

While Rauner has neither directly endorsed nor rejected Trump, Jake Lewis, campaign director with the liberal group Illinois Working Together, said the governor's recent track record speaks loudly.

"The governor has said that he would be supporting the Republican nominee,” Lewis said. "He’s also donated millions of dollars to the Illinois Republican Party, which is helping to support Trump delegates. He's made it clear in both his words and his actions that he is supporting Donald Trump for president."

Like several other Republican leaders from around the country, Rauner is skipping this week's GOP convention without saying why. The governor told reporters he would instead be traveling around Illinois to meet with "community leaders, business leaders and some legislators."

It matters who Rauner supports in the upcoming presidential election, Lewis argued, because Trump has run a divisive campaign that goes against the interests of immigrants and labor groups. Lewis said Rauner's support for the candidate should be a concern for Illinois voters.

"When it comes to such an important decision,” he said, "the governor has a responsibility to be clear and direct with the people of Illinois and he simply has refused to do that."

Lewis’ criticism comes on the heels of comments from the head of Illinois' Republican Party, Tim Schneider, who told a crowd of Illinois delegates on Monday that the state is unifying behind Trump.

More from Jake Lewis is available at illinoisworkingtogether.org.

Brandon Campbell, Public News Service - IL