BRAIDWOOD – Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner stressed the importance of small town families and diverse backgrounds as he swung by Grundy and Will counties Wednesday morning to kick off the second leg of his Shake Up Express Bus Tour.
The Rauner campaign stopped by the Talty Chevrolet at 1850 N. Division St. in Morris, then headed to Golden Mine Family Restaurant, 111 S. Front St., in Braidwood.
“Grundy County is a burgeoning county with great people who need a champion in Springfield to help them continue to grow,” Rauner said. “Grundy County is an integral part of Illinois’ agricultural industry and I look forward to going to work for the people of Grundy County and all of Illinois.”
State Rep. John Anthony, R-Plainfield, rode with Rauner from the starting point in Sheridan to Morris and on to Braidwood.
“It was really great to get to spend time with him,” Anthony said. “He is really interested in places like Morris. What I like about him is that he wants all voters of all types to come out and support him.”
Along with continuing the remaining 23 counties on his tour, Rauner said he’s planning to campaign hard in Cook County to grab some of the vote from the Democratic stronghold.
During his Braidwood visit, he touched on several of his talking points, including instituting term limits, eliminating hikes in income taxes and a hot topic recently, he promised to move his family into the governor’s mansion in Springfield if elected.
Godley resident Janet Hassel, who brought her home-schooled children to hear Rauner speak, said that while she may not agree with Rauner or his family on issues like abortion, she feels he has a good heart and motive to help clean up the state.
“I think if we as parents aren’t involved in the political process, then neither will our kids,” Hasselbring said, adding that she made it a point to speak out about the lack of support and credit home-school parents receive.
Braidwood resident and Chamber of Commerce President Angie Hutton said she was surprised Rauner came to her small town, but it was a good event for the city.
“All the businesses need more support,” Hutton said, hopeful that Rauner, if elected, can help.
Restaurant owner Ismail Ajrulaj said he was surprised Rauner chose Braidwood.
“If you live here you know this is a small, nice and quiet community,” Ajrulaj said, adding that businesses could use more help to grow the economy.
Braidwood Mayor Bill Rulien also said it was nice that a state-wide candidate seems to be paying attention to the smaller towns.
“For the towns to prosper, the state has to prosper,” Rulien said.
Rauner urged residents at the restaurant to vote because the election could be very close between him and Gov. Pat Quinn, who he called “the worst governor in America.”
“This is a big team effort,” Rauner said. “We’re going to win this race.”