With backing of wealthy governor, Illinois GOP spending big

Springfield, Illinois.

Springfield, Illinois.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ Illinois Republicans are vastly outspending Democrats in fall legislative races with the help of a wealthy governor determined to upend the state’s political establishment.

Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner has contributed $16 million to fund GOP candidates in House and Senate races to try to loosen the Democrats’ super-majorities in each chamber. Of that money, $13 million has already been disbursed to various candidates. That’s four times what the Illinois Republican Party Committee spent on races in all of 2012.

The outcomes of ths year’s legislatives could define the remaining two years of Rauner’s time in office and whether he’s viewed as a successful governor if he seeks another term. Rauner was elected in 2014 as a political newcomer promising to shake up the Democrats’ regime but they’ve had the numbers thwart his ideas.