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Rutherford calls charges against him ‘political’



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Updated: March 17, 2014 11:13AM

YORKVILLE — Echoing what his lawyers said earlier in the day, GOP gubernatorial candidate Dan Rutherford told Kendall County voters Thursday night allegations brought in a lawsuit against him this week are political.

“I have had the kitchen sink, and allegations brought against me … that are totally false, they are untrue …” he told people at the Kendall County Republican Night event. “When someone does something like that, on the cusp of the election, you’re running for governor of the state of Illinois, been the state treasurer, and in 22 years have never, ever had something like this happen before, I’m telling you, it smells like politics.”

Rutherford was referring to charges made by a former employee that the state treasurer sexually harassed him, and used his office for political gain.

Rutherford and another GOP governor candidate, Bill Brady, both came in person to mingle with Kendall County voters and other candidates at the event.

Scott Gryder, Kendall County Republican chairman, held speeches to a minimum and made the evening about candidates mingling and talking personally with voters.

Meeting with voters

Brady and Rutherford were the only candidates for governor to appear in person. Evelyn Sanguinetti, Bruce Rauner’s running mate for lieutenant governor, appeared, and so did a representative for Kirk Dillard.

But Brady and Rutherford made their own appeals, saying pretty much what they have said throughout the campaign.

Brady called himself the true conservative in the race, and said his primary victory and ability to get almost 2 million votes statewide four years ago showed he is in the best position to unify the Republicans, and get independent and Democratic votes, in November.

He characterized the race as a two-person one between himself and Rauner, calling it a campaign against Rauner’s money.

“Others aren’t able to bring the party together,” he said. “I’m the only one who starts out with 1 million, 800,000 votes. It gives me the best advantage.”

Rutherford pointed out he is the only candidate in the race who has successfully won a statewide election, being elected as treasurer. He said as governor, he would be the “chief marketing officer” for the state. He said he would use the position to talk to, lobby and bring in business from out of the state and country.

“I would do just like I’ve done for 25 years in the private sector,” he said. “I will take the client to dinner.”

Rutherford got at least one boost from the Kendall County gathering. State Rep. Kay Hatcher (R-Yorkville), who is not running for re-election, said she came to “stand next to” Rutherford and show her support.

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