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SPRINGFIELD, Ill. — Four staff members of Gov. Bruce Rauner’s are out after a controversial political cartoon.

A cartoon by the Pro-Rauner Illinois Policy Institute featured an African-American child begging a cigar-smoking white man for school money. Some called it racist.

The Illinois Policy Institute’s political cartoon.

On Tuesday, a spokesperson said the governor wouldn’t offer an opinion on the cartoon because he is a white man.

Later, the governor sent out a statement saying that it didn’t accurately reflect his views.

He now says he understands why some people find the cartoon offensive.

“I have seen it now and I understand why some people would be upset by it.  I hope we can together as a society together as the people of Illinois together as Americans that we can work to find common ground, justice, fairness and equality,” Rauner said.

Rauner released the following statement:

“Diana Rickert, Laurel Patrick, Meghan Keenan and Brittany Carl have submitted their resignations to the Office of the Governor. We are grateful for their hard work on behalf of the people of Illinois and wish them all the best going forward. Elizabeth Tomev is acting communications director.”

Last month, the governor fired several staff members, replacing them with staff from the Illinois Policy Institute