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Gubernatorial candidates already posturing for next year's elections

SPRINGFIELD -- We're still months away from the primary for Illinois governor, but Tuesday night, the candidates started positioning themselves.
SPRINGFIELD -- We're still months away from the primary for Illinois governor, but Tuesday night, the candidates started positioning themselves. Governor Quinn has rounded out his ticket with running mate Paul Vallas. And, Republicans are getting a piece of advice from a party leader. WCIA-3's bureau chief Steve Staeger keeps us Connected to the Capitol.

The race is all about strategy. These early moves by the candidates certainly aren't unplanned and they're setting up what should be an interesting year for political "junkies."

"I'm more concerned about assembling a team that can make his second term an extraordinarily successful one."

Governor Quinn surprised some political experts by picking Vallas as his number two. Many expected a move which would potentially target voters.

"If you had an Hispanic, an African-American, a woman, you know, you would have some factors where you would say this would bring out more votes, but it certainly doesn't do that."

But, UIS professor Kent Redfield says Vallas is a strong pick from a policy perspective and his failed 2002 run for governor may provide a geographical advantage.

"He is perceived as being a policy-moderate and so he ran well in the suburbs."

That's what Election Day may come down to.

"Chicago and Cook County are going to be Democratic. Downstate is becoming more and more Republican, so the real contest is in the suburbs."

It's what happened in 2010. Quinn ran as more of a moderate and won. In the race for the Senate, Republican Mark Kirk ran more to the center and won. This week, Kirk is reaching out to the four Republican candidates telling them to do the same, especially on social issues like gay marriage.

"The Republican primary electorate you have to run to the right, so you're not going to get a lot of moderation. The question is whether whoever wins that primary, if they can come back towards the middle."

Republican candidates Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard did both vote against same-sex marriage last week. Dan Rutherford has said he opposes it, but has kept a relatively low-profile. Bruce Rauner hasn't given his position on the issue, and only says he thinks it should be up to the voters to decide.
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