- Associated Press - Thursday, March 6, 2014

CHICAGO (AP) - A union-backed group is spending more than $700,000 to promote state Sen. Kirk Dillard in the Republican primary for Illinois governor.

Steve Shearer, a former chief of staff to GOP U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock, founded the group known as the Republican Fund for Progress and Jobs.

The Chicago Sun-Times reports (https://bit.ly/1gdj1nq ) the group has launched pro-Dillard television ads.

The group has received most of its money from unions. It also put out a 12-page mailer criticizing businessman Bruce Rauner (ROW’-nur).

Dillard, Rauner, state Sen. Bill Brady and Treasurer Dan Rutherford (ROOTH’-ur-furd) are seeking the GOP nomination on March 18.

Dillard, Brady and Rutherford have been trying to gain ground on Rauner, who’s led in polls and fundraising.

Dillard recently launched his own TV ads, with financial help from unions.

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