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Gov. Bruce Rauner rallies Republicans at Illinois State Fair

Illinois governor Bruce Rauner. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) – Gov. Bruce Rauner has rallied Republicans at the Illinois State Fair by bashing Democratic House Speaker Michael Madigan and promising to make the GOP the “majority party.”

The first-term Republican rounded off a slate of candidates for statewide office at Governor’s Day Wednesday. Rauner is facing his own tough re-election campaign against billionaire Democrat J.B. Pritzker.

Rauner is tying Pritzker to his political nemesis Madigan. Madigan has been House speaker for three decades and thwarted the conservative agenda Rauner brought to office in 2015. Madigan is also the chairman of the Illinois Democratic Party.

Another star at Wednesday’s rally was Erika Harold. She is the Harvard-educated Champaign attorney who’s running for the vacant post of attorney general. She faces Democratic state Sen. Kwame Raoul in November.

Democrat Day is Thursday. But the fanfare surrounding the event was dampened when scheduled keynoter Joe Biden canceled. The former Democratic vice president is ill and can’t travel.