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Rauner skips GOP event over pastor's comments

MOLINE — Governor candidate Bruce Rauner isn’t attending a Republican dinner in Moline because he says he disagrees with past statements of a pastor asked to speak at the event.

The (Moline) Dispatch reports Rauner was to attend Thursday’s Rock Island County Republican Party Lincoln Day Dinner where the Rev. Donald Johnson of Rock Island’s Destiny Baptist Church was to speak.

Rauner told The Associated Press Thursday he “strongly strongly” disagrees with Johnson’s comments. He wouldn’t elaborate.

The Dispatch reports Johnson’s books accuse President Barack Obama of “anti-Biblical” actions and that he “homosexualized the military.”

Johnson declined comment to the newspaper. Calls to his church Thursday went unanswered.

County GOP chairman Bill Bloom says Johnson’s no longer a dinner speaker.

He adds Johnson’s social conservative message made Rauner’s campaign “nervous.”

ASSOCIATED PRESS