(Chicago) – The summer phase of the 2014 campaign begins Monday as Governor Pat Quinn launches a whirlwind, statewide “jobs” tour of Illinois.
The governor will visit four towns around the state – Melrose Park, East St. Louis, Marion and Decatur – to spotlight new business starts and economic development projects, projects that will undoubtedly be cited by Quinn as major accomplishments when criticism comes his way from likely opponents over his handling of Illinois’ lagging economy.
Quinn begins his day at in Melrose Park at 10:00 a.m. with Navistar executives and local leaders to open the company’s state-of-the-art new Test and Development Center in the Cook County suburb.
After the Navistar event, the governor flies to East St. Louis to announce the final phase of construction of the new Mississippi River Bridge connecting Missouri and Illinois. The project has created or supported more than 3,400 jobs “within a record-breaking diverse workforce,” according to Quinn’s press office.
The governor will be on the Illinois side of the bridge construction site at the Entrance Ramp at 12:30 p.m.
Quinn hops over to Marion for a 3:00 p.m. ground breaking ceremony for a road construction project that aims to relieve congestion on I-57 near Marion.
Decatur’s South Water Treatment Plant is Quinn’s final stop where he will announce $13 million in low-interest loans to update the Decatur sewer system and wastewater treatment plant. The project will “help meet the clean water needs” of nearly 90,000 area residents while creating more than 100 jobs, says Quinn’s office.
The downstate swing aims to boost Quinn’s dismal standing among downstate voters. By virtue of just showing up, Quinn gains if by only deterring news reports that are routinely eager to highlight his absence from the region.
With the exception of bunting, banner, and signs, the 2014 gubernatorial campaign is on.
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