Photo: Courtesy @KirkDillard

This man wants to be the next leader of the state of Illinois. Just as soon as he's done watching the Masters.

With the 2014 gubernatorial election approaching, candidates are stepping into the spotlight. But who are these people?

Their Twitter accounts—whether they're personal feeds, a promo job delegated to a junior staffer, a highlight reel of political platitudes, or dry-as-toast campaign schedule info—have a way of revealing what these candidates are really like. (Side note: These accounts aren't officially verified, but to the best of our judgment, they are genuine. Of course, somebody could be out there impersonating Bill Daley.)

Here's a look at the social media side of the seven current candidates:


Bruce Rauner, Venture Capitalist (@BruceRauner)

Rauner’s Twitter background, a picture of him above the quote, “Think it’s time for an outsider to take on the insiders?” is emblematic of his blunt tweets. The just-declared venture capitalist often uses his 140 characters or less, ending with “#ReformIL,” to criticize lawmakers in Springfield, sometimes with near-brashness. Rauner, though, also tweets often more informally, writing recently on sports and to state Sen. Matt Murphy to wish him well on a MRI. 


Dan Rutherford, State Treasurer (@RutherfordDan)

Rutherford’s tweets to “Dan Fans,” as he calls his supporters, are often unremarkable bits: information about his upcoming interviews, pictures of him campaigning, and superfluous thanks for the event he attended the night before. But just as often the Illinois state treasurer’s tweets are more remarkable: Charming, (sometimes overly) intimate comments that would never have survived the judgment of most politicians’ social media teams.


Bill Brady, State Senator (R-Bloomington) (@Bill_Brady)

The Republican nominee for governor in 2010, Brady tweets animatedly about bills under consideration, meetings with GOP leaders and constituents, and current events. Though he updates his feed only a few times a month, the state senator from Bloomington can be fiery, cheery, and oddly preoccupied with the weather.


Kirk Dillard, State Senator (R-Hinsdale) (@KirkDillard)

In between his frequent updates about happenings on the Senate floor, Dillard tweets about the weather, happenings at his office, and his sometimes mundane out-of-the-capitol life. The runner-up to Brady for the GOP nomination in 2010, Dillard seeks to portray himself on Twitter as hard-working, down to earth, and family-oriented. He's almost definitely writing these himself.


Pat Quinn, Governor (@GovernorQuinn)

Before the troubled end to the last legislative session in Springfield, Quinn had been diplomatic if highly impassioned on his feed, including a rash of near-sycophantic tweets thanking President Obama. Since, however, the governor has been intensely blunt and critical, blaming Springfield lawmakers for their inaction. 


Lisa Madigan, State Attorney General (@LisaforIL)

With close attention to grammar, unfailing attribution, and consistent use of #twill, Madigan’s tweets seem as deliberately constructed as her statements on a possible gubernatorial run (which she's still considering). The attorney general, who recently celebrated 10 years in the position with a series of tweets on her accomplishments, updates her followers on cases she is pursuing, quotes from speeches she gives, and law-related news. Even if the feed feels guarded or dull, Madigan is persistent, repetitively tweeting about and re-tweeting causes she supports.



Bill Daley, former White House Chief of Staff (@BillDaleyIL)

Daley—not to be confused on Twitter with Chicago Tribune food writer Bill Daley, who's already taken the @BillDaley handle—joined Twitter after announcing his candidacy last week. The former White House Chief of Staff hit the ground running with the enthusiasm of a politician who'd been holding back his bid for six months. Daley used his first tweet to ask for retweets on his announcement, and his second to make it known he's all in.