If there was any doubt as to why the Illinois Retired Teachers Association is endorsing State Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) for governor, it was erased 45 seconds into the announcement. “When a teacher’s career ends, there is no golden parachute,” said IRTA president Bob Pinkerton, “and that promise is embedded in our state’s Constitution.”
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He’s referring to the pension restructuring law which passed the General Assembly in December with the support of one of Dillard’s rivals, State Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington). One of the supporters – a member of the conference committee – is also Dillard’s running mate, State Rep. Jil Tracy (R-Quincy). He brushes off her vote, saying she felt obligated to support the plan as a member of the committee.
Pinkerton said the IRTA's support is only for the primary, March 18. The organization would not commit to backing Dillard if he survives to face incumbent Gov. Pat Quinn in the fall.
Also not committing: Dillard’s backing of another Republican if Dillard loses and Bruce Rauner wins. “Bruce Rauner’s Illinois will be all Chicago-centric, and it will work however (Chicago mayor) Rahm Emanuel wants him to work,” said Dillard, who also has the support of the Illinois Education Association.