Bruce Rauner is the current Governor of Illinois. He is in the office since January 12, 2015 alongside Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti as the successor of Pat Quinn. Formerly, Rauner was Chairman of R8 Capital Partners and Chairman of GTCR LLC.

Early Life and Education

Bruce Rauner was born on February 18, 1957 to a nurse mother Ann and a lawyer and automobile businessman father Vincent. Although born in Chicago, Illinois, Rauner was brought up in Deerfield with three other siblings: Paula, Christopher, and Mark.

Rauner was always an avid academic person. He got into Dartmouth College for undergraduate studies in economics. Later, he went to Harvard University for an MBA.

Personal Life

Bruce Rauner is a wealthy man in American politics. He is estimated to be worth around a billion dollars, given that he pays $15.2 million for federal taxes and $2.8 million for state taxes. Moreover, Rauner only takes one dollar for his salary and has even waived rights to pension.

Rauner is currently married to Diana Mendley. The couple got married in 1994 and has three children. Prior to marrying Diana, Rauner had tied the nuptial knot with Elizabeth Konker Wessel in 1980. Elizabeth and Bruce also had three children, but they officially got divorced in 1993.

Gov. Bruce Rauner and his wife Diana wave to the crowd.
Gov. Bruce Rauner and his wife Diana wave to the crowd.

Career

Business

Before we talk about Bruce Rauner as Governor of Illinois, it’s crucial that we become more insightful about his business career as it covers the largest and most successful part of life. Prior to entering the Illinois politics, Rauner was Chairman of GTCR LLC, an equity firm which handled leverage buyouts, recapitalisation and several other kinds of investments. He established the firm in 1980 – after leaving Harvard – in collaboration with Stanley Golder, Carl Thoma, and Bryan Cressey. Now, the company is estimated to be worth around $11 billion and employs 80 plus people.

In 2012, Rauner stepped down from the leadership at GTCR and started a new small investment firm called R8 Capital Partners. Investing up to $15 million, this company strives to help small companies flourish in Illinois. Besides, Rauner also chaired various organizations such as Choose Chicago, Chicago Public Education Fund, and Education Committee of the Civic Committee of the Commercial Club of Chicago.

Politics

Stepping down from a money-spinning career at GTCR, Rauner worked towards the betterment of Illinois. Although he was doing quite well in terms of serving his home state, Bruce thought of climbing another stair to take his service to another level. Hence, he announced his candidacy for the 2014 gubernatorial election in March 2013.

In the Republican Primary Election, Bruce Rauner had a tight competition with Kirk Dillard. Anyway, he won the nomination with 40.1% votes i.e. almost 329k votes as opposed to 305k for Kirk Dillard. Moving on, Rauner faced Democrat Pat Quinn in the 2014 Illinois Gubernatorial election. He won the race with 50.3%, or 1.82 million votes, as opposed to 46.3%, or 1.68 million votes, for Quinn. Bruce Rauner took the office of Governor on January 12, 2015 alongside Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti.

Talking about Rauner’s stands on various economic and political issues, they have attracted a lot of attention and controversy in Illinois. As a businessman, he believes that labor unions should be free to formulate their worker’s conditions, yet ‘should not be allowed to influence public officials’. Likewise, he has reduced state corporate tax rates from 7% to 5.25% and income tax rates from 5% to 3.75% with the aim of increasing disposable income which theoretically leads to an increase in investment.

As of 2015, Illinois saw a GDP growth rate of 1.8% with nominal amount reaching $776.9 billion. Likewise, GDP per-capita has increased to $53, 640 – almost $4000 higher than US GDP per capita.

Donald Trump and Bruce Rauner

President Trump and Governor Rauner have similar kind of background. They both are businessmen and never held any major political posts prior to ascending their current seat. Likewise, the two Republican leaders have waived their rights to pension and salary.

Donald Trump and Bruce Rauner.
Donald Trump and Bruce Rauner.

Although the two show so many resemblances – in both background and ideologies – they haven’t got along as much as one would expect them to. Governor Rauner didn’t attend President Trump’s inaugural and, recently, avoided taking a side on Trump’s executive orders. Also, Rauner didn’t seem very happy when President Trump didn’t express any reaction after Chicago violence.

 

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