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Dillard wins major push from outside group: $700k and counting

In a major shift for the four-way gubernatorial race, an outside group has launched a more than $700,000 media buy to “aggressively” promote state Sen. Kirk Dillard’s candidacy in the March 18 primary election.

Steve Shearer, who was behind a 12-page anti Bruce Rauner mailer, says his group will spend the remaining days of the campaign – less than two weeks – promoting Dillard.

The expenditure so far is $700,000 “and growing,” Shearer told the Sun-Times today.

“We are now also openly and aggressively beginning a pro-Dillard component,” said Shearer, who is the former chief of staff to U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock, R-Ill. Shearer formed the Republican Fund for Progress and Jobs.

The ad that’s already launched, though noticeably absent from it is the word “Republican.” Shearer’s committee has been funded by union groups and just yesterday he posted $485,000 in donations.

The effort will mean a tremendous boost for Dillard, who before receiving union money had struggled to raise significant funds. Now union money is pouring in for Dillard, who also went up on TV with his own ad on Wednesday. It could give frontrunner Rauner a run for his money in the closing days of the election.

Below is the ad for Shearer’s group.