State Sen. Kirk Dillard (R-Hinsdale) got an endorsement Sunday from the Illinois Federation of Teachers in the Republican gubernatorial primary race.
IFT President Dan Montgomery called Dillard a "tireless advocate" for public schools, teachers and retirees "regarding the unconstitutionality of recent pension theft legislation."
"We have already told our members for whom not to vote, and now we’re making it more clear: we encourage anyone who plans to pull a Republican ballot on March 18th to vote for Kirk Dillard,” Montgomery said. "While we have a long history of bipartisanship, this is a significant moment for the IFT. Other than our support for Jim Thompson, this is only the second time in our history when we have endorsed a Republican candidate for Governor. This election is simply too important to sit on the sidelines, and we are getting in the game for the future of Illinois. Kirk Dillard has a record of respecting working families in the past and a willingness to work with us in the future. We are proud to recommend him in the Republican primary.”
In February, Dillard also garnered an endorsement from the Illinois Education Association in the four-way GOP gubernatorial primary.
Dillard said he is "truly honored" to have IFT's support.
“As I’ve said about our previous endorsements from teachers organizations, my father was a public school teacher for 40 years, and would be proud to see so many hard-working teachers getting behind our campaign," Dillard said. "We are indebted to the excellent teachers who give so much to make sure our two daughters get a solid education.”
The endorsement from IFT, which represents more than 100,000 teachers and staff, does not currently extend to the General Election, according to a release from the union.
Click through for IFT's full list of 2014 primary election recommendations.