Rauner hunts for suburban votes on Election Eve

LISLE, Ill. -- After a statewide bus tour, Gov. Bruce Rauner was back in the Chicago area to campaign in the suburbs on Election Eve.

Rauner closed the campaign playing defense in reliably red territory. On Monday morning with wife Diana Rauner by his side, Rauner stopped in McHenry County to make this plea.

"This election is really not about Republicans verses Democrats. It’s about all of us as citizens of Illinois standing against a very corrupt political machine that’s run for the insiders, run by Mike Madigan, funded by Mr. Pritzker," he said.

Rauner calls polls who show him trailing "baloney" and he boasted about a massive ground game.

"We’ve got the biggest ground game underway in Illinois history," he said.

The campaign said it’s knocked on 70,000 doors since last Saturday—2.3 million doors since the start of 2018—along with 6 million calls and 1 million texts messages.

On the other side, the J.B. Pritzker campaign said it knocked on 2.28 million doors, made 5.54 million phone calls and sent 1.5 million texts.

Rauner’s trying to close on a positive note but questions about the Illinois Veterans Home in Quincy keep coming up.

WBEZ reported that the Rauner administration knew a broth of legionella was mistakenly released into the home’s water system before the fatal outbreak in 2015. Also, WBEZ reported that in 2017, when the Legionella re-emerged, Rauner’s press office fought the release of information.

When asked about the issue on Monday, Rauner said, "Our administration has focused, always focused on the safety and the health of our veterans, they are our heroes. And the issue with that particular water tank that was discussed with the CDC immediately in 2015."

Challenger Pritzker is expected to be in Chicago Tuesday. On Monday, he and the Democratic statewide ticket campaigned in central and western Illinois.

"We want to make statement that we need to make. That we’re standing up for Illinois values. We’re gonna lower the cost of health care, lower the cost of higher education, raise wages and create jobs," Pritzker said.

A Republican rally is scheduled for Monday evening at Benedictine University in Lisle.