STERLING – Bruce Rauner wants to speak to as many people as he can before Nov. 4 – whether that’s in a restaurant, an African-American church, or on a Russian radio station.
“It’s important to run a campaign and be a governor for every family,” the Republican gubernatorial candidate said Sunday. “Every family is suffering under Gov. Pat Quinn, and I want to go to work for every family.”
Rauner made a stop in Sterling as part of a statewide bus tour. More than 40 people gathered at Candlelight Inn to hear him give a roughly 15-minute speech.
The Rauner “Shake-Up Express” is traveling as far north as Galena and as far south as Vienna. It also made a stop Sunday in Mount Carroll.
Rauner, a venture capitalist from Winnetka, hopes to unseat Quinn in the Nov. 4 general election.
Rauner said he would lower taxes, create a better jobs climate, improve Illinois schools, and enact term limits on career politicians.
“I want blooming job opportunities in African-American neighborhoods, Koren neighborhoods, Russian neighborhoods, and I want every farm family in Illinois to have great job opportunities, reasonable tax burens and great schools,” he said. “I want to work for every family and not just some.”
Rauner also said he wants to improve funding in local schools. He said Illinois has one of the lowest rates of state support for funding education.
“We are 48th out of 50 states,” he said. “I want to push and make state support increase so we can fully fund our schools and make sure every district gets proper support and funding.”
He also said Quinn has cut education funding by $500 million while taxes continue to rise.
“I’ll make education funding the top priority, and the real way to do that is by growing the economy,” Rauner said. “If we have a growing economy, we can fund our schools.”
Under Quinn, Rauner said, 4,200 jobs have been lost in Illinois this year alone.
“We are not growing, and if we don’t grow, we can’t fund our schools,” Rauner said. “I’ll get us growing. I’ll fund the schools and make that a priority.”
Rauner also wants to put a greater emphasis on vocational training. He said Illinois has one of the highest unemployment rates in America, yet there are thousands of jobs unfilled in the state because students are not trained for the positions that are available.
“We need technical skills, computer skills, vocational training and internships for young people as teenagers,” he said. “That needs to be in high schools and part of our curriculum, so kids can get course credit for the jobs training in local communities.”
Rauner said he meets many people who don’t think their vote counts.
“This race could be decided by a few hundred or few thousand votes,” he said. “Every vote matters.”
Rauner was joined Sunday by former U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Colona.
Schilling is challenging Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-East Moline, for the state’s 17th Congressional District seat, which he held for one term before losing a re-election bid in 2012.
“Here in Illinois, we need Bruce Rauner in Springfield,” Schillng said. “One thing that has been missing from this great state for a long time is people with character and a backbone to stand up and fight and turn this state around.
“I want my kids and grandkids to have the same opportunity that were afforded to each one of us.”