BRAIDWOOD – Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner stressed the importance of small-town families and diverse backgrounds as he swung by Will and Grundy counties Wednesday to kick off the second leg of his Shake Up Express Bus Tour.
The Rauner campaign stopped by the Golden Mine Family Restaurant, 111 S. Front St., in Braidwood in the morning. Before that, he spoke to locals at Talty Chevrolet at 1850 N. Division St. in Morris.
“This is one of the most important counties in the state,” Rauner said about Will County. “I love coming to Will County. It’s a great community.”
Rauner said the county is a good location for business, with room to grow, and it’s a key component in transportation networks across Illinois. Rauner said he also plans to campaign hard in Cook County to grab votes from the Democratic stronghold.
He touched on several talking points, including instituting term limits, eliminating hikes in income taxes. Rauner also promised to move his family into the governor’s mansion in Springfield if elected.
Godley resident Janet Hassel, who brought her home-schooled children to hear Rauner speak, said that while she may not agree with Rauner on issues such as abortion, she believes he has a good heart and motive to help clean up the state.
“I think if we as parents aren’t involved in the political process, then neither will our kids,” Hasselbring said, adding that she made it a point to speak out about the lack of support and credit home-school parents receive.
Braidwood resident and Chamber of Commerce President Angie Hutton said she was surprised Rauner came to her small town, but it was a good event for the city.
“All the businesses need more support,” Hutton said, hopeful that Rauner, if elected, can help.
Restaurant owner Ismail Ajrulaj said he was surprised Rauner chose Braidwood.
“If you live here you know this is a small, nice and quiet community,” Ajrulaj said, adding that businesses could use more help to grow the economy.
Braidwood Mayor Bill Rulien also said it was nice that a statewide candidate is paying attention to the smaller towns.
“For the towns to prosper, the state has to prosper,” Rulien said.
Rauner urged residents at the restaurant to vote because the election could be very close between him and Gov. Pat Quinn, who he called “the worst governor in America.”
“This is a big team effort,” Rauner said. “We’re going to win this race.”