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Chicago Federation of Labor puts cash in GOP primary

The committee launched by former U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock’s ex-chief of staff lives for another day in its effort to keep ads rotating on air in favor of state Sen. Kirk Dillard.

Steve Shearer, who chairs the Fund for Progress and Jobs committee, tells the Chicago Sun-Times that the Chicago Federation of Labor on Wednesday wired over a donation that will keep his efforts afloat at least for another day. Shearer did not immediately disclose the size of the contribution, however, the money will be enough as of now to keep his efforts to boost Dillard active through Friday. (The Chicago Federation of Labor later said that $50,000 went to Shearer for use in anti-Rauner efforts and not to endorse any candidate in the primary.)

With six days to go before Tuesday’s primary, Shearer’s focus is set on giving Republicans an alternative to front-runner Bruce Rauner for the gubernatorial nomination. The Illinois Freedom PAC, funded by a coalition of labor groups and the Democratic Governors Association, has pulled back on a group effort to attack Rauner with various media spots.

Sources say however, that it’s the DGA that’s having the coldest feet with continuing to fund an anti-Rauner message. They say the DGA’s mission all along was to wound Rauner and have him limp across the finish line. Illinois labor groups, however, are still at it. Even as Illinois Freedom PAC announced it had shut down its effort, labor pumped some $400,000 directly into Dillard’s campaign fund.

Because campaigns can buy ads at a cheaper rate than third parties, this will allow Dillard more leeway in the closing days of the race.

(Read related: Union’s pull plug on anti-Rauner efforts).

On Tuesday, Shearer told the Sun-Times: “While some of the public sector unions are stopping anti-Rauner ads, we are not pulling back on our pro-Dillard stuff as of today, by any means,” Shearer tells the Sun-Times. “Our mission right now is to show Dillard as a competent, respected alternative who will bring the change Republicans are thirsting for.”