01/17/2014 07:20 pm ET Updated Jan 25, 2014

Bruce Rauner, Illinois GOP Gubernatorial Candidate, Gets Pile-On From Republican Competitors During Forum

A Republican candidate in Illinois' gubernatorial race said the Land of Lincoln is so broken, his youngest child equates the state's highest office with prison.

“My youngest daughter said ‘daddy don’t run for governor, I don’t want you to go to jail,’” candidate Bruce Rauner reportedly said during a Daily Herald/ABC7 candidate forum Thursday according to the Sun-Times.

Rauner has trotted out the anecdote before, previously in an interview with Chicago Magazine last June.

"She’s read about the four of our seven governors that have gone to prison and she was worried that that somehow was a causal relationship," Rauner previously said. "I assured her that if I do run, it’s exactly to clean up that kind of corruption."

Another one of Rauner's daughters came up during the fiery debate that the billionaire businessman called "beat up Brucey."

Rauner's Republican rivals questioned a quarter-million dollar donation the suburban Winnetka resident make to the selective enrollment public high school in Chicago his daughter eventually attended.

''I'd like to know who didn't get in because his suburban daughter got in,'' Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) said according to ABC Chicago. Rauner dismissed his opponents charges as "just political muscling because we're winning the race."

The primary candidates traded jabs, with Rauner accusing Dillard of taking "hundreds and hundreds of thousands of dollars” from unions; meanwhile, Brady told Rauner he can't "advertise his way out of" his purported ties to a now-imprisoned corrupt political insider.

Rutherford, the only candidate to hold statewide office, maintained he was the only electable Republican in the race.

Dillard, along with Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington) and Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford will duke it out with Rauner -- and his vast personal wealth -- in the March 18 primary.



Illinois governor candidates fun facts