- Associated Press - Sunday, March 2, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) - A second major teachers union has endorsed state Sen. Kirk Dillard in the four-way Republican primary for Illinois governor.

The Illinois Federation of Teachers announced its endorsement Sunday in Chicago.

IFT President Dan Montgomery called Dillard a “strong voice for teachers and retirees.” It’s the first GOP primary in which the union has endorsed.

Dillard is the son of a public school teacher. He voted against the pension reform plan recently passed by the Legislature that many unions opposed.

The union’s endorsement comes on the heels of the Illinois Education Association’s backing of Dillard last month.

The IFT represents more than 80,000 teachers and staff in Illinois.

Spokeswoman Aviva Bowen said the endorsement would come with a “significant” investment to Dillard’s war chest. Bowen wouldn’t specify how much, however.

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