COAL VALLEY, Illinois (KWQC) -- Republican candidates are getting ready for this year's Illinois general election in November. Several candidates met with other party leaders at today's Lincoln Day Dinner sponsored by the Henry County Republicans.
Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner addressed many GOP supporters at the event. As he runs for re-election, he says he will continue to stand by education reform.
"We've also set record school funding. I've fought hard to get 1.2 billion dollars more from the state to our local schools. It relieves property tax burden and helps us have the best schools in America," said Gov. Rauner.
He says a new scholarship program will help low-income districts and will allow for more competition. He also says balancing the budget, means encouraging economic growth.
"Raising taxes will not solve our problems. We cannot tax our way to a better future. We need to grow by being more competitive," he said.
Jason Helland, the Republican nominee for Secretary of State, says high property taxes are forcing residents to leave the state.
"We really need to look at the budget and cut the budget. We need to stop spending money -- We need to start cutting money," said Helland.
Jim Dodge is running for Treasurer and says taxes need to be lowered across the board.
Erika Holland is running for Attorney General and says she is focussing on issues like the opioid epidemic and criminal justice reform. She says too much money is being spent incarcerating people and wants to change that.
"And giving judges the discretion to give people rehabilitation opportunities if they're willing to work hard is a better use of tax dollars and promotes human dignity and that's what our criminal justice system needs," said Holland.
Gov. Rauner narrowly won his primary race against challenger Jeanne Ives. He says he believes he can rally Republicans, Independents, and even some Democrats before November's general election.
The Illinois general election is on November 6.