Bruce Rauner

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Bruce Rauner
Bruce Rauner August 2014.jpg
42nd Governor of Illinois
Assumed office
January 12, 2015
LieutenantEvelyn Sanguinetti
Preceded byPat Quinn
Personal details
BornBruce Vincent Rauner
(1957-02-18) February 18, 1957 (age 57)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Rauner (1980–1993)
Diana Rauner
ResidenceExecutive Mansion

Springfield, Illinois

Alma materDartmouth College
Harvard Business School
WebsiteOfficial website
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Bruce Rauner
Bruce Rauner August 2014.jpg
42nd Governor of Illinois
Assumed office
January 12, 2015
LieutenantEvelyn Sanguinetti
Preceded byPat Quinn
Personal details
BornBruce Vincent Rauner
(1957-02-18) February 18, 1957 (age 57)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Elizabeth Rauner (1980–1993)
Diana Rauner
ResidenceExecutive Mansion

Springfield, Illinois

Alma materDartmouth College
Harvard Business School
WebsiteOfficial website

Bruce Vincent Rauner (born February 18, 1957) is an American businessman, politician and the 42nd Governor of Illinois, in office since 2015.[1] Prior to his election, he was the Chairman of R8 Capital Partners and Chairman of the private equity firm GTCR, based in Chicago. He was the Republican nominee in the 2014 gubernatorial election and defeated incumbent Governor Pat Quinn.[2]

Early life and education[edit]

Bruce Rauner was born in Chicago and grew up in Deerfield, Illinois,[3] a suburb of Chicago. His mother, Ann E. (Erickson),[4] was a nurse, and his father, Vincent Joseph Rauner, was a lawyer and senior vice president for Motorola.[5][6][7][8] He has three siblings, Christopher, Mark, and Paula, and is of part Swedish descent.[4]

Rauner graduated summa cum laude with a degree in economics from Dartmouth College. At Dartmouth, he also studied English horn, played in the orchestra and won several statewide honors.[9] He later received an MBA from Harvard University.[10]

Business career[edit]

Rauner was the Chairman of private equity firm GTCR, where he had worked for more than 30 years, starting in 1981 after his graduation from Harvard[4] through his retirement in October 2012.[11] A number of state pension funds, including those of Illinois, have invested in GTCR, whose funds have regularly outperformed other private equity investment funds as well as the stock market.[12]

After leaving GTCR, Rauner opened an office for a self-financed venture firm, R8 Capital Partners. The firm will invest up to $15 million in smaller Illinois companies.[13]

Rauner served as Chairman of Choose Chicago, the not-for-profit that serves as the city's convention and tourism bureau,[14] resigning in May 2013,[15] and as Chairman of the Chicago Public Education Fund.[16] Rauner has also served as the Chairman of the Education Committee of the Civic Committee of The Commercial Club of Chicago.[17]

Political career[edit]

Rauner has served as an advisor to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.[10]

2014 gubernatorial election[edit]

In March 2013, Rauner formed an exploratory committee to look at a run for Governor of Illinois as a Republican.[18] Rauner said that his top priorities included streamlining government, improving education and improving the state's business climate.[19] He also supports term limits and says he would serve no more than 8 years as governor.[19] On June 5, 2013, Rauner officially announced his candidacy for governor,[20] telling Chicago magazine's Carol Felsenthal his platform would include overhauling tax policy and freezing property taxes.[21]

In October 2013, Rauner announced that his running mate would be Wheaton City Councilwoman Evelyn Sanguinetti.[22][23]

Rauner won the March 18 Republican primary with 328,934 votes (40.13%), defeating State Senator Kirk Dillard's 305,120 (37.22%), State Senator Bill Brady's 123,708 (15.09%) and Illinois Treasurer Dan Rutherford's 61,848 (7.55%).

For the general election, Rauner was endorsed by the majority of Illinois newspapers[24] including the Chicago Tribune,[25] the Daily Herald,[26] and the Chicago Sun-Times.[27]

On November 4, 2014, Rauner was elected Governor of Illinois, though initially without Gov. Quinn's concession.[28] Pat Quinn conceded defeat the next day.[29]

Rauner spent a record $26 million of his own money on his election.[30]

Governor of Illinois[edit]

Rauner was sworn in as Governor of Illinois on January 12, 2015.[31] In his first executive order, he halted state hiring as well as discretionary spending, and called for state agencies to sell surplus property.[32]

Policy positions[edit]

Minimum wage[edit]

Rauner has received media attention for his political stance on the minimum wage.[33][34] Rauner currently favors either raising the national minimum wage so Illinois employers are on the same level as other neighboring states, or unilaterally raising Illinois' minimum wage, but pairing the change with pro-business reforms to the state's tax code, workers compensation reform, and tort reform.[35]

Rauner's position on the minimum wage evolved significantly during his campaign. At a candidate forum on December 11, 2013, Rauner stated that he would favour reducing Illinois's minimum wage from $8.25 to the federal minimum wage of $7.25. The Chicago Sun-Times also uncovered video of Rauner at a campaign event in September 2013, where he said that he was "adamantly, adamantly against raising the minimum wage"[36] and audio of an interview with Rauner from January 10, 2014, when he said that "I have said, on a number of occasions, that we could have a lower minimum wage or no minimum wage as part of increasing Illinois' competitiveness."[37]

Tax policy[edit]

Rauner strongly opposed Governor Pat Quinn's proposal to make the 2011 “temporary” income tax increase permanent, instead calling for the Illinois' income tax rate to gradually be rolled back to 3 percent.[38]

In July 2014, Rauner called for expanding Illinois' sales tax to dozens of services, such as legal services and computer programming, which currently are not taxed in Illinois. Rauner estimated the expanded sales tax would bring in an additional $600 million a year.[39] Rauner's services tax proposal was harshly criticized by Pat Quinn, who said it would fall hardest on low income people.[40]

Term limits[edit]

Rauner strongly favors term limits, and has pledged to limit himself to no more than eight years as Governor.[41] Rauner organized and funded a push to put a constitutional amendment imposing term limits on Illinois legislators on the November 2014 ballot, gathering 591,092 signatures.[42] However, the term limits amendment was struck down in court as unconstitutional.[43]


During his 2014 campaign, Rauner called for “billions” of dollars per year in public spending on infrastructure, but declined to detail how he would pay for the spending.[44]

During his gubernatorial campaign Rauner declined to take a position on the controversial Illiana Expressway and Peotone Airport projects advanced by Pat Quinn.[45] After taking office in 2015 he suspended the Illiana project pending a cost-benefit review.[46]


Dave McKinney[edit]

On October 22, 2014, Dave McKinney, a 19-year veteran Chicago Sun-Times political reporter and bureau chief, resigned from the paper, citing pressure brought to bear on him by Sun Times management with regard to his coverage of Rauner.[47] McKinney had recently completed an investigative news story about a lawsuit filed by Christine Kirk, the CEO of LeapSource, a firm at which Rauner served as director. The unflattering news piece, written by three reporters and approved by the newspaper's editors, described Rauner using "hardball tactics" to threaten Kirk and her family.[48]

The Rauner campaign tried but failed to have the story include disclosure McKinney's wife, Ann Liston, was part owner of a company that did political work for a pro-Quinn PAC, and thus had had a conflict of interest;[49] they then published details about the shell LLC company, created by and sharing office space with a long term Democratic strategist firm, of which Liston was part-owner.[50] The shell LLC company is currently employed by a pro-Quinn PAC.[51] McKinney says any notion of conflict of interest was untrue.[52][53]

Walter Payton College Prep[edit]

In 2008, Rauner's daughter was admitted to Walter Payton Prep school in Chicago through the "principal picks" process. The family maintains several residences, including one in downtown Chicago that enabled her to apply to the Chicago-based school. Although she had top grades, she had missed several days of school and therefore did not qualify through the regular admissions process.[54][55] It was later revealed that Rauner had sought information on this process from his personal friend Arne Duncan, then CEO of Chicago Public Schools. Rauner has no recollection of speaking with Duncan directly. According to another source, she was not a "principal pick", but was let in following the phone call between Bruce Rauner and Arne Duncan.[56] The Rauners donated $250,000 to the school during the subsequent school year.[57] Rauner has a long history of contributing to Chicago Public Schools.[58]


Rauner was nominated for the 2008 Philanthropist of the Year by the Chicago Association of Fundraising Professionals.[59] In 2003 Rauner received the Daley Medal from the Illinois Venture Capital Association for extraordinary support to the Illinois economy[60] and was given the Association for Corporate Growth's Lifetime Achievement Award. Rauner and his wife were nominated for the Golden Apple Foundation's 2011 Community Service Award.[61]

Rauner has been a financial supporter of projects including Chicago's Red Cross regional headquarters, the YMCA in the Little Village neighborhood,[62] six new charter high schools,[63] an AUSL turnaround campus, scholarship programs for disadvantaged Illinois public school students, and achievement-based compensation systems for teachers and principals in Chicago Public Schools. He provided major funding for the construction of the Rauner Special Collections Library at Dartmouth College,[64] endowed full professor chairs at Dartmouth College, Morehouse College, University of Chicago and Harvard Business School, and was the lead donor for the Stanley C. Golder Center for Private Equity and Entrepreneurial Finance at the University of Illinois.[65]

Rauner serves on the board of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.[66]

Personal life[edit]

Rauner lives in Winnetka, Illinois with his wife, Diana Mendley Rauner, and family.[67] He has three children with Diana Mendley. He also has three children from his first marriage, to Beth Konker Wessel, whom he married in 1980 and from whom he separated in 1990. (The divorce was finalized in 1993.)[4]


  1. ^ (November 5, 2014) - "Governor-Elect Rauner Names Transition Team". NBC Chicago.
  2. ^ Pearson, Rick (November 5, 2014) - "Quinn Concedes Defeat to Rauner in Illinois Governor's Race". Chicago Tribune.
  3. ^ Venture Capitalist Bruce Rauner Moves Toward Run for Governor Chicago Sun-Times, March 5, 2013
  4. ^ a b c d Felsenthal, Carol (Sep 15, 2014). "Will the Real Bruce Rauner Please Stand Up?" (October 2014). Chicago magazine. 
  5. ^ Vincent J. Rauner Obituary Chicago Tribune, May 01, 1997
  6. ^ GOP Race for Governor: Bruce Rauner Profile Chicago Sun-Times, March 07, 2014
  7. ^
  8. ^
  9. ^ The Dartmouth, October 11, 1977
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  13. ^ Yerak, Becky (25 October 2012). "Ex-GTCR Chairman Bruce Rauner turns to civic efforts". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  14. ^ Kathy Bergen (February 19, 2013). "Group to float 'aggressive' Chicago tourism ideas". Chicago Tribune. 
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  16. ^ "Bruce Rauner". 2013. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
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  23. ^ Bond, Brendan (January 17, 2014). "Bruce Rauner selects first-generation American as running mate". Associated Press. Reboot Illinois. Retrieved March 10, 2014. 
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  33. ^ McKinney, Dave (January 8, 2014). "Rauner redo: Now he says he wants to raise, not lower, the minimum wage". Associated Press. Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved March 11, 2014. 
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  37. ^ McKinney, Dave (September 4, 2014). "Rauner admits he once favored eliminating minimum wage". Associated Press. Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved September 20, 2014. 
  38. ^ Korecki, Natasha (21 July 2014). "Rauner, Quinn camps trade budget barbs". Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  39. ^ Merrion, Paul (26 July 2014). "Rauner, the anti-tax candidate, finds a tax he likes: on services". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
  40. ^ Merrion, Paul (18 September 2014). "Rauner service tax proposal pushes a CEO toward Quinn". Crain's Chicago Business. Retrieved 16 December 2014. 
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  51. ^ Campaign Disclosures 
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  55. ^ Schoenburg, Bernard (February 19, 2014). "Bernard Schoenburg: Bruce Rauner's story on school clout keeps changing". Associated Press. State Journal-Register. Retrieved March 10, 2014. 
  56. ^‘principal-picks'-payton-college-prep-minuscule/tue-01142014-707am
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  58. ^ Davey, Monica (2014-03-16). "In Illinois, Republicans See an Office Up for Grabs". New York Times. Retrieved 2014-03-17. 
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  61. ^ "Stanley C. Golder Community Service Award". 2013. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  62. ^ "Rauner Family YMCA of Metro Chicago". YMCA. 2013. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
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  65. ^ "Golder Center for Private Equity". University of Illinois. 2010. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  66. ^ "NFWF Leadership". National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. January 2013. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  67. ^ Kass, John (February 28, 2013). "Illinois Republicans: Get ready for Bruce Rauner". Chicago Tribune. 

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