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Kirk Dillard banks on Jim Edgar in last big campaign push

In Kirk Dillard’s final major push before Tuesday’s primary election, the Dillard campaign brought out the big gun: former Gov. Jim Edgar, who acted part attack dog, part elder statesman in his endorsement of his former chief of staff.

Dillard, his running mate state, Rep. Jil Tracy, and Edgar are in the midst of a state fly-around, that will run into Monday. Dillard spent part of his news availability on Sunday attacking the frontrunner, businessman Bruce Rauner, without using his name.

“You’re not going to beat Pat Quinn with a bazillionaire who’s so out of touch with working families that he sees nothing wrong with bending the rules that all other Illinoisans have to live with,” Dillard said. “We can’t let the .01 decide what’s the best for Illinois.”

Edgar declared that the Republican primary race was not over and that the outcome hinged greatly on the level of turnout.

“He brought together a wide coalition, and I think that will serve him well,” the former Republican governor said at a news conference at Chicago’s Union League Club downtown. “We cannot afford a governor who has to learn on the job. We need a governor who will bring people together. We need a governor who will hit the ground running once he’s sworn in.”

Dillard slammed Rauner as someone so close to Democrats and Chicago’s Mayor Rahm Emanuel that it would hamper him down the line.

“You can’t beat Pat Quinn with a nominee who is so close to Democrats like Rahm Emanuel that they vacation together,” Dillard said. “You can’t beat Pat Quinn with a nominee who dodges questions, who won’t talk to the media and has incredibly questionable business dealings.”