Republicans dined and listened to speeches at the Union League Club in Chicago. Party Chairman Jack Dorgan sang a conservative kumbayah:
"We owe it to you to come together today to work for our Republican Party as we march towards victory in November."
But you couldn't help but notice who wasn't there: state Sen. Kirk Dillard of Hinsdale. Despite being way behind in pre-election polling, Dillard came within three percentage points of the winner, Bruce Rauner. The campaign was rough, with Rauner attacking Dillard as being part of what he calls the corrupt establishment in Springfield. Dillard, back in the Statehouse for legislative hearings, says don't read into his absence:
"I've got meetings and I need to be in Springfield. The party unity's important, but they know I'm there in spirit."
Dillard says he plans to talk to Rauner to figure out the "most advantageous way" to "embrace his candidacy."
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