The public employee union endorsements of Kirk Dillard have also included angry blasts at Bruce Rauner, the Winnetka hedge fund investor.
Rauner vows to reduce the power of government unions as a necessary step toward reducing the cost of government. The AFSCME union on Wednesday accused Rauner of "demonizing" rank-and-file government workers, in contrast to Dillard.
"And Mr. Rauner doesn't quite get it. And this is one of many things that makes him unelectable, that a third of the people of these unions that he likes to demonize are Republican primary voters," said Dillard.
Critics, though, noted that Dillard sided with the public employee unions in voting against pension reform. Also, Dillard opposed Gov. Quinn's decision last year to close several state facilities in order to save tax dollars.
"Many people on the campaign trail say you sold out the taxpayers to the unions," said Sen. Bill Brady.
"We handed Pat Quinn $1.3 billion of savings without any restrictions that force him to use the $1.3 billion to pay down the state's old bills, and to live up to his commitment that the 67% tax increase -- the income tax increase -- would be temporary," said Dillard.
Rauner attacked Dillard's links to the public employee unions.
"Those are the exact same groups that have supported Pat Quinn, supported the Democratic Governors Association. and helped get us into the financial mess we're in. Yet, you're with them aligned. The teachers union has said you're aligned with them on the policies. They are in favor of a tax hike," said Rauner.
"I'm not gonna' agree with the teachers on everything. I'm not for a progressive income tax. I didn't vote for the 67% income tax," responded Dillard.