CHICAGO (AP) – Editorial boards at some major Illinois newspapers have weighed in on the Republican primary to pick the state’s next governor with the Chicago Tribune announcing Friday it endorsed businessman Bruce Rauner.
The venture capitalist seeking public office for the first time is locked in a four-way primary contest with state Treasurer Dan Rutherford of Chenoa, state Sen. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale, and state Sen. Bill Brady of Bloomington. The primary is on March 18.
“Illinois is in desperate need of a change agent,” according to the editorial published in Friday’s newspapers, noting that the other three would be “safe and steady choices” with their experience.
However, it said Rauner, a billionaire, would “be a man with nothing to lose, accepting a job he does not need.”
Rauner has also picked up endorsements from Crain’s Chicago Business and newspapers owned by Shaw Media.
Dillard has received backing from the (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald, which pointed to his experience as a legislator and as former Gov. Jim Edgar’s chief of staff.
“Through his years in government and as a state senator, he knows where the system can best be fixed and he knows how to work with key players in both parties to fix it,” the Daily Herald editorial said.
However, at least one major newspaper hasn’t been involved.
The Chicago Sun-Times announced in 2012 that it would no longer endorse candidates.
“We have come to doubt the value of candidate endorsements by this newspaper or any newspaper, especially in a day when a multitude of information sources allow even a casual voter to be better informed than ever before,” the 2012 editorial said.
Jim Kirk, editor-in-chief of the newspaper, confirmed Friday in an email that the Sun-Times wouldn’t make endorsements in the 2014 primary.