Bruce Rauner

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Bruce Rauner
Personal details
Born(1957-02-18) February 18, 1957 (age 57)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Diana Rauner
Alma materDartmouth College
Harvard University
WebsiteOfficial website
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Bruce Rauner
Personal details
Born(1957-02-18) February 18, 1957 (age 57)
Chicago, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Diana Rauner
Alma materDartmouth College
Harvard University
WebsiteOfficial website

Bruce Rauner is an American businessman who is the chairman of R8 Capital Partners, and former chairman of the private equity firm GTCR, based in Chicago. He is the Republican nominee for governor of Illinois.

Early life[edit]

Bruce Rauner was born in Chicago and grew up in Deerfield,[1] a suburb of Chicago. His father was a lawyer and senior vice president for Motorola;[2][3] his mother was a nurse. His first job was as a paperboy.[4]


Rauner graduated Summa Cum Laude with a degree in economics from Dartmouth College. He later received an MBA from Harvard University.[5]

Business career[edit]

Rauner was the Chairman of private equity firm GTCR, where he had worked for more than 30 years, until he retired in October 2012.[6] 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.[7]

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.[8] Rauner is the current Chairman of the Education Committee of the Civic Committee of The Commercial Club of Chicago, Co-Chairman of the Chicago-China Initiative, and Chairman of ACT Charter School. The founders of ACT claim that he forced them out in 2011 and shut down the school in a manner similar to a corporate take over.[9] He also served as Chairman of Choose Chicago, the not-for-profit that serves as the city's convention and tourism bureau,[10] resigning in May 2013,[11] and as Chairman of the Chicago Public Education Fund.[12]


Rauner has served as an advisor to Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel.[5]

2014 campaign for governor[edit]

Rauner is running with Lt. Governor candidate Evelyn Sanguinetti.[13]

In March 2013, Rauner formed an exploratory committee to look at a run for Governor of Illinois as a Republican.[14] Rauner said his top priorities included streamlining government, improving education, and improving the state's business climate.[15] He also supports term limits and says he would serve no more than 8 years as governor.[15] In early June 2013, Rauner officially announced his candidacy for governor,[16] telling Chicago magazine's Carol Felsenthal his platform would include overhauling tax policy and freezing property taxes.[17]

Rauner donated a total of $6 million to his own campaign for governor. This set a record for an Illinois governor race and brought his total war chest to around $14 million in advance of the March primaries.[18]

Key points from Rauner’s political campaign include creating Right-to-Work zones, getting rid of the Quinn-Madigan income and corporate tax hikes, reforming the pension system, and creating a more competitive educational system.[19][20][21]

The Chicago Tribune and the Northwest Herald editorial boards endorsed Bruce Rauner for the Republican Primary.[22][23]

Rauner received media attention for his political stance on the minimum wage.[24][25] At a December 11, 2013 candidate forum, Rauner stated that he would favor reducing Illinois’ minimum wage from $8.25 to the federal minimum wage of $7.25. Later, Rauner wrote an op-ed in the Chicago Tribune stating that his previous remarks were flippant and that he would actually be in favor of increasing the Illinois minimum wage.[26] The Chicago Sun-Times released a video of Rauner at a campaign event expressing opposition to the minimum wage hike.[27]

Partners at GTCR maintained some investments in off-shore accounts, including the Cayman islands, for reasons related to fiduciary duties to state pension fund investments. The use of off-shore accounts had no impact on Rauner's tax liability.[28]


Rauner was named the 2008 Philanthropist of the Year by the Chicago Association of Fundraising Professionals.[29] In 2003 Rauner received the Daley Medal from the Illinois Venture Capital Association for extraordinary support to the Illinois economy[30] and was given the Association for Corporate Growth’s Lifetime Achievement Award. Rauner and his wife received the Golden Apple Foundation’s 2011 Community Service Award.[31]

Rauner has been a financial supporter of projects including Chicago’s Red Cross regional headquarters, the YMCA in the Little Village neighborhood,[32] six new charter high schools,[33] 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,[34] 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.[35]

Rauner serves on the board of the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation.[36]

Personal life[edit]

Rauner lives in Winnetka, Illinois with his wife, Dr. Diana Mendley Rauner, and family.[37]

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 due to illness and therefore did not qualify through the regular admissions process.[38][39] 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.[40] The Rauners donated $250,000 to the school during the subsequent school year.[41] Rauner has a long history of contributing to Chicago Public Schools.[42]

In March 2013, the Daily Herald reported that Rauner had, for a number of years, improperly claimed three homestead exemptions on his Cook County property taxes. Upon being notified of the situation, Rauner called it an "oversight" and paid the $1,616 in tax savings to Cook County the following day.[43]


  1. ^ [1]
  2. ^ [2]
  3. ^
  4. ^ "5 questions with Bruce Rauner". Associated Press. Chicago Tribune. March 10, 2014. Retrieved March 11, 2014. 
  5. ^ a b "Venture capitalist Bruce Rauner moves toward run for governor". Chicago Sun Times. March 5, 2013. Retrieved June 20, 2013. 
  6. ^ "Managing partner Rauner retires from GTCR". October 19, 2012. Retrieved February 28, 2013. 
  7. ^ Lynn Marek (April 8, 2013). "Rauner's love/hate relationship with pension funds". Chicago Business. Retrieved May 23, 2013. 
  8. ^ Yerak, Becky (25 October 2012). "Ex-GTCR Chairman Bruce Rauner turns to civic efforts". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  9. ^
  10. ^ Kathy Bergen (February 19, 2013). "Group to float 'aggressive' Chicago tourism ideas". Chicago Tribune. 
  11. ^ "Rauner resigns from Choose Chicago". Chicago Business. May 2, 2013. Retrieved May 23, 2013. 
  12. ^ "Bruce Rauner". 2013. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  13. ^ Bond, Brendan (January 17, 2014). "Bruce Rauner selects first-generation American as running mate". Associated Press. Reboot Illinois. Retrieved March 10, 2014. 
  14. ^ Pearson, Rick (March 5, 2013). "Wealthy Rauner launches exploration of Republican governor bid". Chicago Tribune. 
  15. ^ a b Chris Kaergard (April 30, 2013). "Potential GOP candidate lists priorities". Journal Star. Retrieved May 23, 2013. 
  16. ^ "Rauner announces governor run". Crain Communications, Inc. June 5, 2013. Retrieved June 5, 2013. 
  17. ^ Felsenthal, Carol (July 2013). "Bruce Rauner Answers 13 Questions on Running for Governor of Illinois". Chicago magazine. 
  18. ^ Pearson, Rick (March 4, 2014). "Rauner's $6 million sets record in Illinois governor race". Associated Press. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 11, 2014. 
  19. ^ "Bruce Rauner’s campaign issues". Associated Press. Bugle Newspaper. March 7, 2014. Retrieved March 11, 2014. 
  20. ^ Korecki, Natasha (March 7, 2014). "GOP race for governor: Bruce Rauner profile". Associated Press. Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved March 11, 2014. 
  21. ^ Coen, Jeff (March 10, 2014). "Rauner sells his brand to Republican voters". Associated Press. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 11, 2014. 
  22. ^ "Illinois Governor (Republican): Rauner". Associated Press. Northwest Herald. March 1, 2014. Retrieved March 11, 2014. 
  23. ^ "Chicago Tribune endorses Bruce Rauner in GOP primary for IL governor". Associated Press. Northwest Herald. March 6, 2014. Retrieved March 11, 2014. 
  24. ^ 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. 
  25. ^ Matt, Dietrich (January 18, 2014). "Minimum wage a maximum headache for Rauner". Associated Press. Reboot Illinois. Retrieved March 10, 2014. 
  26. ^ Rauner, Bruce (January 9, 2014). "How to raise the minimum wage". Associated Press. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 11, 2014. 
  27. ^ McKinney, Dave (January 9, 2014). "Rauner 'adamantly' opposes minimum wage hike". Associated Press. Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved March 11, 2014. 
  28. ^ McKinney, Dave. "Bruce Rauner channeled part of fortune to Cayman Islands". The Chicago Sun-Times. Retrieved 5 August 2014. 
  29. ^ "Association of Fundraising Professionals Chicago Chapter". Association of Fundraising Professionals Chicago Chapter. 2012. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  30. ^ "Illinois Venture Capital Association". December 3, 2003. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  31. ^ "Stanley C. Golder Community Service Award". 2013. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  32. ^ "Rauner Family YMCA of Metro Chicago". YMCA. 2013. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  33. ^ Marek, Lynne (October 19, 2012). "Rauner makes it official, retires from GTCR". Chicago Business. Retrieved 1 March 2013. 
  34. ^ "Rauner Special Collections Library". January 18, 2013. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  35. ^ "Golder Center for Private Equity". University of Illinois. 2010. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  36. ^ "NFWF Leadership". National Fish and Wildlife Foundation. January 2013. Retrieved March 1, 2013. 
  37. ^ Kass, John (February 28, 2013). "Illinois Republicans: Get ready for Bruce Rauner". Chicago Tribune. 
  38. ^ Bond, Brendan (February 17, 2014). "WILL BRUCE RAUNER PAY THE PRICE FOR "SWEETNESSGATE?"". Associated Press. Reboot Illinois. Retrieved March 10, 2014. 
  39. ^ 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. 
  40. ^‘principal-picks’-payton-college-prep-minuscule/tue-01142014-707am
  41. ^ O'Connor, John (2014-02-20). "A Look at Rauner's Claims on Chicago School Admission". The State. Retrieved 2014-03-02. 
  42. ^ Davey, Monica (2014-03-16). "In Illinois, Republicans See an Office Up for Grabs". New York Times. Retrieved 2014-03-17. 
  43. ^ Kerry Lester (March 29, 2013). "Potential governor hopeful Rauner claimed extra exemptions". Daily Herald. 

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Preceded by
Bill Brady
Republican nominee for Governor of Illinois
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