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GOP money race smiles on Rauner — Dillard, not so much

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Updated: December 21, 2013 6:40AM



With fund-raising caps off in the Illinois governor’s race, the largest contribution yet from an individual donor came in on Tuesday.

And it went to the rich guy.

Millionaire businessman Bruce Rauner, whose self-funding has meant his competitors are free to tap into unlimited money, was himself the beneficiary of a $250,000 contribution.

It came from Glen Tullman, the former CEO of Allscripts Healthcare Solutions, according to a newly filed campaign report.

At the same time that money was flowing into Rauner’s campaign fund, another candidate suffered a blow.

Several sources told the Chicago Sun-Times that a major fundraiser for the Kirk Dillard campaign was on her way out. Lori Montana, a well-respected GOP fundraiser and former Illinois lottery director whom Dillard, a state senator from Hinsdale, brought onto his campaign with much fanfare, is leaving, sources said.

Montana informed Dillard’s campaign about two weeks ago of her plans to part ways, the sources said, and will likely be gone altogether by December.

“Lori is a volunteer. She did leave the campaign. She’s going to tie up loose ends,” a source close to the Dillard campaign told the Sun-Times. “She is not being paid.”

Dillard hedged when asked if Montana was still on contract with his campaign, saying he had two meetings with her this week. When pressed, Dillard backed off a bit.

“I believe she is still contractually with me, but ask my campaign,” Dillard said. “I don’t write the checks.”

His campaign referred back to Dillard’s statements.

The development is a bad sign for Dillard’s fundraising. Dillard brought in $313,372 in overall contributions between his two political funds last quarter but had the least amount of any of the major candidates for governor left in the bank: $205,722.

By comparison, Rauner last quarter raised almost $3 million — $1 million more than his three competitors combined. And that was before Rauner made the $500,000 donation to his campaign that put him over the self-financing threshold, lifting the caps for everyone in the race. Before that, contributions from individual donors were limited to $5,300.

Dillard and two other GOP candidates — Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford and state Sen. Bill Brady of Bloomington — have all lambasted Rauner for trying to buy the governor’s office.

Tullman’s donation, however, flags a different potential Republican primary issue for Rauner, who already has been criticized for being too chummy with Democrats. Records show Tullman has contributed to Democrats — including Gov. Pat Quinn. Tullman is the brother of major Democratic donor and Democratic National Committee Trustee Howard Tullman, who has donated to former President Bill Clinton and who is friends with — and was briefly the landlord of — Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.

One recent poll had Brady leading despite reporting just $66,000 in campaign contributions last quarter. For his part, Dillard touted his strength, which remains in the DuPage suburbs and his reach with woman voters — a demographic he said the GOP sorely needs to tap into.

Twitter: @natashakorecki

Email: nkorecki@suntimes.com



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