Three in GOP teaming up against Rauner

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The boys have been busy.

Sneed hears GOP gubernatorial hopefuls State Sen. Kirk Dillard, State Treasurer Dan Rutherford and State Sen. Bill Brady were busy campaigning this week.

But not for themselves.

All three Republican candidates were involved in a one-act play with one major objective: stopping gazillionaire Bruce Rauner from winning the Cook County Republican Party primary endorsement.

◆ Translation: “They and their minions were hitting the campaign phones: Dillard, Rutherford and Brady don’t care so much who gets the endorsement, as long as it isn’t Rauner,” a Sneed source said.

◆ Buckshot: “If Rauner wins the endorsement, it will be hard for the other candidates to raise money, or they can expect to see all their donations dry up,” a top GOP source said.

“This is the first time the Cook County Republican Party is endorsing someone pre-primary; it’s a first major endorsement; and it carries the biggest city in the state,” said Cook County Commissioner Liz Gorman.

“It could mean a 3 to 5 percent bump in the polls and a way to open the money spigot,” she said.

◆ Scoop: Although the winner won’t be announced until Saturday, Sneed is told that Rauner had already logged 60 percent of the committeemen voting online.

◆ Sneed hears Rutherford has had Eloise Gerson, who is the former head of the Chicago Republican Party and a GOP committeeman, make calls on his behalf.

◆ Sneed hears Dillard has had Ruth O’Connell, Wheeling Township trustee, make calls for him.

◆ Sneed hears Gorman is making calls for Rauner.

◆ Fact: The candidates will find out who wins Saturday morning, in a meeting at GOP Committeeman Sean Morrison’s security business office in Alsip.

◆ The flipside: “This is a sideshow,” said a Rauner source. “It’s what damage the unions are going to do to Rauner that’s the big deal. Rauner has been very outspoken against union leadership.”

Sneed hears that if the unions are going to launch a major Rauner offensive, they plan to do it soon after the holidays.

◆ The logic: It’s better to try to damage Rauner soon by only having to spend a few million bucks now — as opposed to having to spend tens of millions in the general election,” the Rauner source said.

Stay tuned for war.

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