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Former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush was expected to headline a Thursday luncheon fundraiser for Illinois GOP gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner who's trying to unseat Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn.

The November matchup in Illinois is expected to be one of the most competitive governor's races nationwide. Rauner is making a first run for public office, while Quinn is seeking a second full term.

Bush's appearance is preceded by several visits from Republican Gov. Chris Christie, who's the head of the Republican Governors Association.

Tickets for the Thursday luncheon at a downtown Chicago hotel cost $500 a person, according to an invitation circulated by the Rauner campaign. Attending a private round table and photo reception was listed at $5,000 a ticket.

In response, the Democratic Governors Association had planned a news conference at a nearby park to talk about Bush's record, according to an Illinois spokeswoman for the DGA.

Bush, who served from 1999 to 2007, has been vague on his plans for 2016. But he has said he'll step up his schedule to help Republicans this fall. His upcoming events include a fundraiser next month for Michigan Gov. Rick Snyder.

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