Bruce Rauner

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Bruce Rauner
Bruce Rauner 2016 cropped.jpg
42nd Governor of Illinois
From: January 12, 2015 – January 14, 2019
Lieutenant Evelyn Sanguinetti
Predecessor Pat Quinn
Successor J.B. Pritzker
Party Republican
Spouse(s) Elizabeth Konker Wessel (divorced)
Dana Mendley
Religion Episcopalian

Bruce Vincent Rauner (born February 18, 1957) is a businessman, philanthropist, and the 42nd governor of Illinois. He was elected in the 2014 election, defeating liberal Democrat incumbent Pat Quinn.[1] Rauner won every single county in Illinois except the ultraliberal Cook County. He was defeated in the 2018 election, after he sided against conservatives on key issues such as abortion and illegal immigration.

Early life

He was born in Chicago to Ann and Vincent Rauner on February 18, 1957. He grew up in Deerfield, Illinois.[2]

2014 election

During his run for governor in 2014, Rauner made promises to his future constituents to "fight business as usual".[3]

He promised to lower taxes,[4] veto abortion legislation,[3] and increased spending.[5]

Tenure as Illinois governor and political positions

2014 gubernatorial election results. If it wasn't for Cook County, Rauner would have won in a landslide.[6]

Labor unions and economic issues

Rauner is conservative on fiscal issues. His stance on labor unions has received considerable attention and controversy. Rauner believes that local governments should be allowed to pass right to work laws.[7][8] Additionally, Rauner believes that the state should ban some political contributions by public unions, saying that "government unions should not be allowed to influence the public officials they are lobbying, and sitting across the bargaining table from, through campaign donations and expenditures."[7]

For about one year, Rauner refused to sign any of the Democratic budget bills, which would have created enormous budget deficits and sink the state into even more debt than before. However, on June 30, 2016, just before the beginning of the next fiscal year, Rauner compromised by signing a temporary bipartisan stopgap budget that would allow public schools to continue operating for an additional year and for necessary state services to continue for 6 months, even though it too will increase the deficit.[9][10]

Budget and spending

Illinois went over two years without a budget because Rauner opposed the spending and tax increases opposed by the Democrats. In July 2017, Rauner vetoed a budget that would increase taxes by $5 billion, including a 32% increase in the state income tax along with an increase in the corporate tax. However, the Illinois Senate and House, with the help of several Republicans, overrode his veto.[11][12][13]


Despite his fiscal conservatism, Rauner supports more liberal social policies. The Rauner family have donated "thousands of dollars" to Planned Parenthood,[14] and prior to his 2014 campaign, the Rauner Family Foundation donated $510,000 to the American Civil Liberties Union's Roger Baldwin Foundation.[15]

On July 29, 2016, Rauner signed SB 1564 into law, which requires doctors and pregnancy centers that refuse to perform abortions for religious or moral reasons to refer patients to places where they can have an abortion instead.[16][17] The bill was passed on partisan lines, without a single Republican legislator voting for the bill, and Rauner's decision to sign the bill into law angered conservative groups.[17] The same day, Rauner also signed a bill that "extends insurance coverage for nearly all contraceptives."[17] On August 5, Rauner was sued by a Rockford-based medical center and a Downers Grove physician, arguing that SB 1564 is unconstitutional.[18][19] On December 20, 2016, a Winnebago County Circuit Judge issued a preliminary injection, which temporarily prohibited the State of Illinois from enforcing the law after it going into effect on January 1, 2017.[20]

Despite pledging in April 2017 to veto the bill,[14][15] On September 28, 2017, Rauner broke his promise and signed the bill into law – which removed restrictions on and expanded taxpayer-funded abortions for those covered by Medicaid and state employee insurance and which removed the clause that would have illegalized abortions if Roe v. Wade were overturned, something which earned him harsh criticism from conservative Republicans.[21][22][23][24][25][26]

Illegal immigration

In August 2017, Rauner signed a bill into law preventing local police authorities from arresting illegal aliens due to their immigration status.[27][28][29]

Gun control

Despite vetoing a bill that would have increased regulation of gun stores in March 2018 – likely in order to win a GOP primary election held a few days later[30] – he proposed other gun control actions, including court confiscation orders and a 72-hour waiting period for gun purchases.[31] In July 2018, he signed bills into law doing those things.[32]

Donald Trump

Although Rauner was not up for re-election in 2016, his allies, who did not support Donald Trump's presidential candidacy along with him, lost their respective elections.[33]

2018 election

Due to his support for left-wing bills on abortion and illegal immigration – which he signed into law – Rauner was challenged in the GOP primary by conservative State Representative Jeanne Ives.[34][35] Rauner narrowly defeated Ives 51%–48%, illustrating conservative dissatisfaction to Rauner's left-wing social policies.[36]

Rauner lost the general election to billionaire Democrat J.B. Pritzker.[37][38]


  1. Pearson, Rick (November 5, 2014). Quinn Concedes Defeat to Rauner in Illinois Governor's Race. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved September 22, 2016.
  2. Gov. Rauner visits Deerfield science labs
  3. 3.0 3.1 The Worst Republican Governor in America, National Review
  4. [1]
  5. Rauner education plan calls for more spending
  6. Quinn/Rauner a Squeaker? Durbin/Oberweis a Cakewalk? Think Again. NIU Today (November 5, 2014). Retrieved on July 26, 2016.
  7. 7.0 7.1 Pérez-Peña, Richard (February 4, 2015). "Governor of Illinois Takes Aim at Labor". The New York Times. Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  8. Rebik, Dana (February 8, 2015). "Gov. Bruce Rauner Pushes for Illinois ‘Right-to-Work’ Zones". Retrieved February 9, 2015.
  9. Rauner Signs Stopgap Budget, School Funding Bill — But Relief From Stalemate Proves Temporary. Chicago Tribune (June 30, 2016). Retrieved on July 24, 2016.
  10. Gov. Bruce Rauner Signs Stopgap State Spending Plan. Peoria Journal-Star (June 30, 2016). Retrieved on July 24, 2016.
  11. Garcia, Monique; Pearson, Rick; Geiger, Kim (July 7, 2017). Illinois House overrides Rauner vetoes of income tax increase, budget. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  12. Huston, Warner Todd (July 6, 2017). Bankrupt Illinois Slams Citizens with 32% Income Tax Hike, More to Come. Breitbart News. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  13. Korecki, Natasha (July 6, 2017). Illinois Republicans help override Rauner's veto, sealing budget deal. Politico. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  14. 14.0 14.1 Rauner's Abortion Bill Veto Pledge Puts Issue at Early Forefront of Governor's Race. Chicago Tribune (April 20, 2017). Retrieved on May 2, 2017.
  15. 15.0 15.1 Gov. Rauner Plans to Veto Abortion-Protection, ‘Trigger’ Bill. Chicago Sun-Times (April 14, 2017). Retrieved on May 2, 2017.
  16. Illinois Governor Signs Bill Forcing Pro-Life Doctors to Promote Abortion. The Washington Times (August 2, 2016). Retrieved on August 6, 2016.
  17. 17.0 17.1 17.2 Rauner Surprises GOP With Action on Birth Control, Abortions. ABC News (August 4, 2016). Retrieved on August 6, 2016.
  18. Rockford Nonprofit Pregnancy Center Sues Gov. Bruce Rauner Over Abortion Law. (August 5, 2016). Retrieved on August 6, 2016.
  19. Anti-Abortion Centers, Doctor Sue Rauner Over 'Conscience' Law. Chicago Sun-Times (August 5, 2016). Retrieved on August 6, 2016.
  20. Pregnancy Centers Win Early Victory Against Illinois Abortion Info Law. Chicago Tribune (December 21, 2016). Retrieved on December 23, 2016.
  21. Rauner Signs Controversial Abortion Bill, Angering Conservatives. Chicago Tribune (September 29, 2017). Retrieved on September 29, 2017.
  22. Illinois Governor Signs Bill Expanding Public Funding for Abortion. Politico (September 28, 2017). Retrieved on September 29, 2017.
  23. Richardson, Bradford (September 28, 2017). Illinois governor signs bill funding abortions with taxpayer dollars. The Washington Times. Retrieved September 29, 2017.
  24. Berry, Susan (September 30, 2017). GOP Gov. Bruce Rauner Breaks Promise, Forces Taxpayers to Fund Elective Abortions. Breitbart News. Retrieved September 30, 2017.
  25. Korecki, Natasha (October 2, 2017). Republicans rage at Rauner. Politico. Retrieved October 3, 2017.
  26. Illinois GOP Gov. Rauner faces conservative fury for expanding taxpayer-funded abortions. Fox News. October 4, 2017. Retrieved October 4, 2017.
  27. Bernal, Rafael (August 28, 2017). Illinois governor signs immigration, automatic voter registration measures. The Hill. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  28. Singman, Brooke (August 28, 2017). GOP Gov. Rauner accused of making Illinois a 'sanctuary state' with new law. Fox News. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  29. Binder, John (August 28, 2017). Illinois Republican Governor Signs Sanctuary State Law. Breitbart News. Retrieved August 28, 2017.
  30. Garcia, Monique (March 14, 2018). Rauner vetoes gun store licensing bill, saying it would 'do little to improve public safety'. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  31. Hawkins, Awr (May 14, 2018). Republican Gov. Proposes Gun Confiscation Orders, 72-Hour Wait Period on Firearm Purchases. Breitbart News. Retrieved May 14, 2018.
  32. Multiple references:
  33. Kelly, William J. (November 9, 2016). Despite Trump surge, Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner blows it. Retrieved December 4, 2016.
  34. Pollak, Joel B. (January 23, 2018). Conservative Jeanne Ives Takes on Republican Incumbent Governor Bruce Rauner in Illinois. Breitbart News. Retrieved January 23, 2018.
  35. IL Governor Rauner's conservative challenger making waves
  36. Multiple references: See also:
  37. Lott, Maxin (November 6, 2018). Gov. Rauner concedes to Democrat Pritzker in Illinois race. Fox News. Retrieved November 14, 2018.
  38. Riopell, Mike; St. Clair, Stacy; Coen, Jeff (November 7, 2018). Democrat J.B. Pritzker topples first-term Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner in Illinois governor race. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved November 14, 2018.

External links