SPRINGFIELD-After making 20 fundraising stops in the last month, venture capitalist Bruce Rauner announced Tuesday that his gubernatorial campaign committee has raised $1.3 million during his 60-day "listening tour" across Illinois.
Since his campaign's inception on March 5, the prospective 2014 Republican nominee for governor claimed he is moving into this year's second quarter with more than $1.2 million cash on hand, $249,000 of which came from Rauner's own pockets.
"The folks I'm meeting as I travel the state understand Illinois needs a political outsider willing to take on the failed status quo in Springfield, and I'm excited by their response to my exploratory committee," Rauner said in a prepared statement. "The amount of support we've received in less than a month exceeds expectations and underscores the fact that Illinoisans are looking for someone to bring a fresh perspective to solving the challenges facing our state."
Campaign contribution records show most support for Rauner's prospective bid flows from business interests, both inside and outside Illinois' borders. At least $265,000 donated to Rauner's exploratory committee by the end of March came from out of state - stretching from Los Angeles to New York City - according to Illinois State Board of Elections data.
The state board's database also shows that Rauner's three largest single contributions were each for $10,500 from Carstin Brands, Inc. in Arthur, Ill., Open Prairie Ventures, Inc. in Effingham, Ill. and United Shore Financial Services, LLC in Troy, Mich.
Rauner is an investor in Chicago Sun-Times parent company, Wrapports, LLC, and first publically stated interest in a 2014 run for governor three years ago. His potential Republican competitors include state Treasurer Dan Rutherford; state Sen. Bill Brady (R-Bloomington), the 2010 GOP nominee for governor; state Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale); U.S. Rep. Aaron Schock (R-Ill.); and former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh (R-Ill.).
Rauner was positioned at the bottom of that list of potential nominees, getting only 7 percent of support from respondents in a November poll commissioned last November by the Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling firm.
"The more time I spend discussing both the hopes and the concerns of people who want to see a better Illinois, the more convinced I am that our state's future is bright," Rauner said in a prepared statement. "The fact is Illinois' greatest resource is her people. Unfortunately, they have been let down time and again by the politicians in Springfield. It's time for an outsider."
Rauner has already stopped in at least 10 mostly Downstate counties and plans to make stops in Monroe, Rockford and Rosemont counties this week.