To show party unity, Bill Brady's primary opponents came to support him at his rally on Sunday, kicking off his gubernatorial campaign.
Brady won the five-way primary race by a razor-thin margin, topping opponent Kirk Dillard by fewer than 200 votes. Dillard is considered more moderate than Brady; and was panned in the primary for saying kind words about Barack Obama, while Brady is vehemently anti-choice, anti-gay rights and apparently anti-minimum wage.
Nevertheless, Dillard stood by his side at the Alta Villa banquet hall in suburban Addison.
"I am committed to getting my friend and colleague Bill Brady elected as the governor of the next state. We need a Republican governor so badly in Springfield," said Dillard, according to ABC Chicago's coverage of the event.
Sen. Brady, who represents a central Illinois district, won the primary by generating votes downstate. But he received less than 24,000 of the more than 400,000 Republican votes in Chicago and the collar counties. With two-thirds of the state's population in that area, Brady used the event to reach out to city and suburban voters.
In particular, the Chicago Tribune reports, Brady concentrated on moderate and minority voters.
Brady also said his pro-business background could help the GOP expand support to an African-American and Latino community looking for private-sector job creation and educational improvement and contended Democrats "turned their backs on the needs of minorities."
"This election is our time. It is our time to reach out, to reach beyond traditional Republican boundaries and borders, to reach out to independents and Democrats, to reach out to minorities---blacks and Latinos---and share the vision we have for the future of Illinois," he said.
"Minorities are not, in this state, dependent on government jobs. They're looking for private-sector jobs," said Brady, a real estate developer with other business interests. "They understand it's private-sector principles that will bring big-box construction jobs, permanent jobs and affordable quality food to their communities."
Brady also attacked incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn's budget proposal, and specifically his plan to raise the income tax from 3 percent to 4 percent. However, would not provide details about his own budget plan.
The Daily Heraldreports that Brady touted his running mate, Jason Plummer, at the event. "The people of Illinois chose my running mate," he said, an obvious reference to the fact that the Democratic Party will be choosing its Lieutenant Governor nominee after the resignation of Scott Lee Cohen.
And turning Plummer's greatest weakness -- his lack of experience at age 27 -- into a positive, Brady added, "Plummer helps appeal to a younger generation of Illinoisans."
Watch video of the event here:
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