Dillard backed by pro-gun groups

CHICAGO (AP) — The Illinois State Rifle Association is backing state Sen. Kirk Dillard's Republican bid for governor.

The pro-gun group sent a message to supporters Wednesday urging them to vote for Dillard in the four-way primary against state Sen. Bill Brady, businessman Bruce Rauner and state Treasurer Dan Rutherford.

Officials say Dillard is no bigger supporter of gun rights than Brady or Rutherford. However, they say Dillard has a broader appeal among voters, giving him a better chance of winning the general election in November.

The association says Rauner was the only candidate who didn't participate in last week's gun rights lobby day in Springfield.

An anti-Rauner group has also released a mailer to Republican households suggesting Rauner "sides with liberals" that want to take guns away.