Now the wealthy businessman, who's courting black voters as he tries to unseat Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn, is catching heat.
Rikeesha Phelon is Illinois spokeswoman for the Democratic Governors Association. She says it's a clear attempt to buy votes.
Rauner spokesman Mike Schrimpf says he's "putting his own money where his mouth is" and helping create jobs.
Rauner's pledge came during a meeting with an African-American economic development group.
Mark Allen leads the group and says it's asking the candidates to commit to spend campaign funds in black communities. Rauner took it a step further.
WLS-TV first reported the pledge.