SPRINGFIELD — Two of the four Republican candidates for governor say they soon will join fellow GOP candidate Bruce Rauner on the airwaves.
With two weeks left before voters head to the polls, state Sen. Kirk Dillard, R-Hinsdale, is scheduled to begin airing a biographical television ad Tuesday, campaign spokesman Wes Bleed said Monday.
Also Monday, state Sen. Bill Brady, R-Bloomington, announced in a newsletter to supporters that he will join Dillard and Rauner on television in the coming days.
"We'll also be up on TV and radio this week for the duration of the campaign, so keep an eye out and an ear open for our ads!" the newsletter stated.
The two are scrambling to gain some traction in a race that has been dominated by the previously unknown Rauner's rise in the polls thanks to millions of dollars in media spending.
Propelled by new money from the state's two teachers' unions, Dillard is planning to run his ads on a handful of cable channels statewide. Bleed said Monday he didn't know how long the ads would run.
"We're going to keep them going as long as we can," Bleed said.
Brady's campaign did not provide details about his ad plan, and it remains unclear when or if a fourth candidate in the GOP primary will be hitting the airwaves.
At the end of 2013, state Treasurer Dan Rutherford had more money in his campaign account than Dillard or Brady and was expected to compete for air time against the wealthy Rauner.
But Rutherford last month was hit with allegations of sexual harassment by an employee and has pared back his advertising.
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Asked about Rutherford's television ad forecast, campaign spokesman Brian Sterling said, "We're still evaluating."
Rutherford did, however, release an online ad touting major cuts in his treasurer's office budget
"This same approach can be used to streamline state government by eliminating waste and focusing on efficiency in the core services government needs to provide," Rutherford says in the ad.
The candidates aren't the only ones running ads hoping to influence voters.
An effort backed by labor unions designed to undercut Rauner is running ads accusing Rauner's former private equity firm of neglecting seniors at nursing homes it purchased.
Rauner's campaign has called the ads "desperate."