Illinois governor candidates promote community investments during campaign stops

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CHICAGO — Illinois' gubernatorial campaigns promoted community investments Monday, as Republican Bruce Rauner touted his philanthropic work in Chicago's black communities while Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn made a series of stops announcing various state investments.

Both campaigns — locked in a competitive race — pledged to work to restore dilapidated communities.

Rauner picked up the endorsement of a group of pastors from the South and West sides of Chicago. They said Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn hasn't delivered on his promises, noting unemployment remains high while neighborhood schools are underperforming. They applauded Rauner for using his personal fortune over the years to better schools within the African-American community. Pastor Willie Cotton of Holy Bible Missionary Baptist Church described Rauner as the "right man at the right time for the state of Illinois."

Quinn, meanwhile, stopped in Chicago's South Side, and in DeKalb, Granite City and Murphysboro. In Granite City, he was joined by Union Pacific Railroad officials as the last segment of track and ties were replaced as part of a Chicago-to-St. Louis high-speed rail project. He also took part in a ceremonial groundbreaking on a $27.4 million campus renovation project at Northern Illinois University. The project will include new classrooms, laboratories and offices for the university's department of anthropology.

Quinn called the state university a "gem of our state's higher education system" and said the improvements would help NIU to attract top students from across the nation.

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