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GOPs gubernatorial candidates shrink from backing marriage

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Over the past few days, two Republicans have announced they have entered the Illinois governor's race. Neither is expected to support equal marriage.

Millionaire venture capitalist Bruce Rauner is the most recent entrant, announcing his candidacy on a video on his campaign website. According to the Chicago Tribune, he said that the state government is broken. (In an interview with the Tribune, he also said that Democrats and Republicans are responsible for the mess.) However, he did not say how he would fix the public-employee pension crisis.

Rauner will not take a stand regarding same-sex marriage. Appearing on WTTW's Chicago Tonight June 5, he said that he would leave that issue to the state's voters. When host Carol Marin asked Rauner if he was "ducking" the topic of marriage equality, he said, "I will not lead on that issue." During that appearance, he also said he wants to improve the state's education system and that he favors term limits for all politicians in Springfield.

However, Rauner, a father of six, has taken a position on abortion, saying he supports rights early in pregnancy, although he also backs restrictions for late-term abortions, according to the Tribune. He also backs parental notification for minors seeking to terminate their pregnancies.

Interestingly, Rauner has been an unofficial adviser to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel, and has said he regularly speaks with him.

Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford launched his campaign June 1. He voted for the civil-unions bill in 2010, being the only Republican to do so. However, Windy City Times reported that earlier this year Rutherford stated he is not backing same-sex marriage. "As I see the marriage, I'm just not there," he said. "I see a difference from the religious standpoint of it, and so that is something that I have not endorsed. But again, I'm very supportive of what I think are fair issues."

State Sen. Kirk Dillard and former gubernatorial candidate Bill Brady are expected to announce their candidacies soon.

Regarding Democrats, Gov. Pat Quinn is running for re-election. Attorney General Lisa Madigan is expected to announce her candidacy. Former White House Chief of Staff Bill Daley has said he will publicly announce if he will run.

Primary and general elections take place next year.

—Andrew Davis

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