Jim Edgar To Endorse Kirk Dillard For Governor

03/18/2010 05:12 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

UPDATED

One of the state's most prominent Republicans is throwing his weight behind a candidate in the crowded GOP gubernatorial primary.

Former Gov. Jim Edgar, who kept his popularity intact and criminal record unblemished during two terms as Illinois' chief executive, is expected to endorse state Sen. Kirk Dillard next week. Dillard served as Edgar's chief of staff in Springfield.

Capitol Fax's Rich Miller first reported the news Friday and Dillard has since confirmed that he "anticipates" he will get Edgar's official backing early next week.

The Edgar endorsement should help raise Dillard's profile, boost fundraising and possibly give former Attorney General Jim Ryan pause about making another run for governor.

Several Republicans are vying for the nomination, including state Sen. Bill Brady, former state GOP chairman Andy McKenna, DuPage County Board Chairman Bob Schillerstrom, political consultant Dan Proft and businessman Adam Andrzejewski.

UPDATE: Edgar formally endorsed Dillard on Monday:

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