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Candidates make final push before primary

Those hoping to be Illinois' next governor cover the state with visits, phone calls.

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Posted: Monday, March 17, 2014 12:00 am

CHICAGO -- From St. Patrick's Day parades to statewide tours by plane, the candidates running for Illinois governor made their final appeals to voters ahead of this week's primary election.

Three of the four Republicans -- businessman Bruce Rauner and state Sens. Kirk Dillard and Bill Brady -- were making last-minute rounds Sunday to drum up participation for what's traditionally a low-turnout election. The primary is Tuesday. Gov. Pat Quinn, a Chicago Democrat, is seeking re-election.

Dillard kicked off his two-day fly-around Sunday in Chicago with his onetime boss: Former Gov. Jim Edgar. Dillard was once Edgar's chief of staff.

"We can't afford a governor who has to learn on the job," Edgar said.

The comments were a reference to Rauner. The Winnetka venture capitalist, leading in the polls and fundraising, is seeking public office for the first time. Dillard, of Hinsdale, called on voters to "save the state" by pulling a GOP ballot on Tuesday.

State Sen. Brady, of Bloomington, made an appearance Sunday at Chicago's South Side Irish Parade on Sunday before embarking on his own tour with stops Sunday in Moline and Rockford, along with a town hall meeting on Facebook.

Quinn, seeking a second full term, also appeared at Sunday's parade, as did his lesser-known Democratic challenger Tio Hardiman.

Meanwhile, Republican state Treasurer Dan Rutherford took a lower key approach by hitting the phones.

"He's doing a series of targeted personal phone calls and personal calls with the top supporters," spokesman Brian Sterling said.

© 2015 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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