A straw poll Sunday in Champaign County gave State Treasurer Dan Rutherford top-billing among the four Republican candidates in the race for Governor.
The Republican Party held its annual fall festival in Urbana, giving each of the four GOP candidates an opportunity to make their pitch to the party faithful.
Rutherford received just over half of the votes cast (50.4 percent) at the event.
Chicago businessman Bruce Rauner was in second place with 22.6 percent. State Sen. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale was third with 19.1 percent.
The straw poll state Senator Bill Brady of Bloomingtont just 7.8 percent of the vote. Three years ago Brady was the party's gubernatorial candidate, and got 49 percent of Champaign County in a five-way Republican primary election that year.
Rutherford stressed that he has the know-how to get the needed Chicago-area votes needed to win a statewide race.
The Livingston County native said "statistics have shown that if you don't get 20 percent of the city of Chicago, it doesn't matter what you do in Champaign and Vermilion counties. If you don't get 20 percent in Chicago you don't win a statewide race."
Rutherford added, "As your nominee for governor of the state of Illinois, I got 22 percent of the city of Chicago (for treasurer in 2010). Our Republican candidate that year (Brady) got 18. I won, he lost."
94.1 FM, WGFA