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Edgar: Rauner would be governor to 'bunch of rich Republicans'

Former Illinois Gov. Jim Edgar said there’s one reason Bruce Rauner is ahead in the polls: “money.”

Despite those polls, Edgar maintained the race was far from over and hinged on turnout.

In a last-dash, statewide push for state Sen. Kirk Dillard’s candidacy, Edgar said Rauner’s campaign has been divisive and appealed only to the top-tiered income getters.

“If you’re governor for the state of Illinois, you’re governor for everybody. You just can’t be governor for a bunch of rich Republicans,” Edgar said in a media availability at the Union League Club Sunday. “You have to represent everyone. I think that vote demonstrated that Kirk had that ability,” Edgar said referring to Dillard’s last gubernatorial run.

Edgar said Rauner’s position as frontrunner is due to his flush campaign fund. Rauner has pumped $6 million of his own money into his campaign, however, he’s raised more than $6 million from others, including huge donations from some of the wealthiest people in the state.

“If he had the same amount of money as Kirk Dillard, Kirk Dillard would be ahead of him 3 to 1 in the polls today,” Edgar contended. “It’s purely money in my estimation, why he has the leads he has in he polls. The other thing I would also caution you. It’s very difficult to poll in a primary. Those numbers are not accurate. Turnout is the key. You don’t know what the turnout’s going to be. You don’t know what the cross over votes are going to be.”

Rauner is enjoying a 20-point lead over Dillard heading into the Tuesday primary and leads by an even wider margin against both state Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, and Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford, R-Chenoa.

On Sunday, Rauner’s campaign had a different estimation of those supporting him.

“Folks are excited to vote for Bruce because they know he is the only candidate who will shake up Springfield and the only one who can be trusted to lower taxes, increase jobs, improve education and enact term limits,” said spokesman Mike Schrimpf.