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   JEFFERSON CITY, Mo. (AP) - Republican Catherine Hanaway says she raised more than $300,000 in the first couple of months after announcing her candidacy for Missouri governor in 2016.
   Hanaway's campaign released a summary Thursday of her fundraising figures for the period ending March 31. Quarterly finance reports are due to be filed with the Missouri Ethics Commission next Tuesday.
   Hanaway announced her gubernatorial candidacy Feb. 8. She says she raised nearly $308,000 by the end of March and had nearly $302,000 on hand after expenses.
   Democratic Gov. Jay Nixon cannot seek re-election because of term limits.
   Hanaway was the first Republican to declare her candidacy to succeed Nixon, though State Auditor Tom Schweich also is interested in the governor's race.
   Democratic Attorney General Chris Koster also is preparing to run for governor.
   
 
Published in Local News
   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn is set to present his state budget at a time when Illinois faces an expiring income tax increase and the massive budget shortfall that comes with it.
   The Wednesday speech also falls at the start of what's expected to be one of the toughest gubernatorial campaigns nationwide. Quinn's Republican challenger, businessman Bruce Rauner, has already blasted Quinn for a lack of leadership.
   However, Quinn says he has a five-year plan for Illinois' spending.
   The state's income tax increase expires in January, creating a roughly $1.6 billion hole. Illinois also has billions in unpaid bills.
   Quinn could propose extending the increase, which Republicans say they'll fight. He could also allow it to sunset and back other revenue-generating taxes. Or he could leave it up to the Legislature.
 
Published in Local News
   CHICAGO (AP) - Gov. Pat Quinn is questioning his Republican gubernatorial rival's ethics, wealth and stance on minimum wage during his re-election bid.
   The Chicago Democrat raised the issues in a story published in Sunday's Chicago Sun-Times.
   Quinn has already tried to differentiate himself from businessman Bruce Rauner by playing up the venture capitalist's wealth and views on minimum wage. Quinn wants to raise Illinois' rate. Rauner initially said he wanted to cut the rate, later saying he'd raise it under certain circumstances.
   Now Quinn is raising questions about Rauner's business dealings and possible links to Stuart Levine, who was convicted in former Gov. Rod Blagojevich's corruption scandal.
   Rauner's campaign says Quinn is playing "political games" and blasts his signing of a pension overhaul cutting benefits for state employees and retirees.
 
Published in Local News
   SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) - Early voting begins for the March 18 primary begins across Illinois on Monday.
   At the top of the ballot on the Republican side is the race for U.S. Senate, where state Sen. Jim Oberweis and businessman Doug Truax are facing off.
   State Sens. Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard, Winnetka businessman Bruce Rauner and state Treasurer Dan Rutherford, meanwhile, are vying to be the GOP nominee for governor.
   On the Democratic side, Gov. Pat Quinn is seeking re-election against little-known challenger Tio Hardiman.
   There also are scores of contested races for U.S. Congress and for the Legislature.
   Voters are required by state law to show a government-issued ID before they can receive a ballot. The last day to vote early is March 18.
 
Published in Local News

   CHICAGO (AP) — Candidates running for Illinois governor in 2014 have started shaping up their positions on a new pension proposal that lawmakers are expected to consider this week.

   Republican venture capitalist Bruce Rauner said in an email yesterday to supporters that it's the wrong deal for Illinois. He says the savings are insufficient and he doesn't agree with how lawmakers reached the agreement.

   Meanwhile Republican state Sen. Bill Brady says he's in favor. In a statement, he says that it's package of "meaningful reforms" that would strengthen Illinois' fiscal stability. Brady sat on a bipartisan pension panel for months.

   Last week, the state's four legislative leaders announced some details of the deal aimed at solving the state's nearly $100 billion pension crisis. It's estimated to save about $160 billion over three decades.

Published in Local News

   CHICAGO (AP) - Republican gubernatorial candidate state Sen. Kirk Dillard has chosen state Rep. Jil Tracy as his running mate.

   Dillard announced his lieutenant governor pick late Monday on Instagram with a video message.

   Tracy is a Quincy Republican who first took office in 2006 and is a member of the bipartisan pension panel tasked with trying to find a solution to Illinois' nearly $100 billion pension problem.

   Dillard is set to make the announcement official Tuesday with a statewide tour, including stops in Quincy, Springfield and Rockford. Tuesday is the first day candidate petitions can be circulated

   It's the first year lieutenant governor candidates will run with governor candidates on the same ticket.

   Also Monday, Treasurer Dan Rutherford announced his running mate is Chicago attorney Steve Kim.

   

 
Published in Local News

   SPRINGFIELD, IL (AP) - Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says she'll seek another term instead of running for governor next year.

   In a statement Monday, the Chicago Democrat says she considered mounting a challenge to Gov. Pat Quinn, a fellow Democrat, but decided to stay in her current job and to seek re-election.

   Madigan says one factor in her decision is that her father is the powerful speaker of the state House. She says the state would not be well-served with a governor and speaker from the same family.

   Madigan's exit leaves former White House chief of staff Bill Daley, who's formed an exploratory committee to challenge Quinn, and four Republicans. Illinois faces major financial challenges, including a $97 billion hole in its pension funding.

   Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan says she'll seek another term instead of running for governor next year.  In a statement Monday, the Democrat says she did consider mounting a challenge to Governor Pat Quinn, a fellow Democrat, but decided against it.  Madigan says one factor in her decision is that her father is the speaker of the state House. She says the state would not be well-served with a governor and speaker from the same family.

   The decision by Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan to seek re-election may have put a cramp into the plans of at least two Democratic politicians - state Sen. Kwame Raoul and Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon.

   Raoul has made clear he would make a bid for the attorney general's office if Madigan ran for governor.

   Raoul planned to ramp up his fundraising efforts after the close of the last Legislative session.

   Simon has long made it known her political future won't include re-election next year. However, she hasn't been clear on what office she might seek instead. Simon has touted her legal background.

 

Published in Local News

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