Today, Illinois business and civic leader Bruce Rauner officially announced that he is actively considering a run for Governor in 2014. Rauner, a Republican, filed papers with the Illinois State Board of Elections creating an exploratory campaign committee that will allow him to begin fully exploring a candidacy.
Rauner’s initial effort will not be a formal or traditional campaign. After spending several months talking with local and national leaders in business, education reform, and politics, and crisscrossing the state attending Lincoln Day Dinners and other events, Rauner is now entering a more intense period of consideration of a potential candidacy. For the next 60 days, Rauner will significantly increase his events and meetings, while looking to make a final determination on a candidacy well in advance of the March, 2014 primary election.
Rauner commented: “I was born and raised in Illinois. I’ve raised my family and grown businesses here. And I love our state. That’s why it’s so heartbreaking to see the mess we’re in. Near the bottom in the nation in unemployment and tax rates. Worst in the country in debt and credit ratings. Rampant corruption in government. Failing schools and violent crime that destroy the future of too many of our children. We need major changes in the way we tax and spend, the way we treat businesses and workers, the way we deal with our state budget and pensions, and the way we run our schools. The political class in Springfield are either unwilling to, or incapable of, making the kind of changes we need. That’s why I’m considering running for Governor.”
Rauner continued: “I have a few ideas that I’m very passionate about, but I don’t have all the answers. I want to hear what’s on Illinoisans’ minds. For the next sixty days I’m going to do something folks in Springfield don’t do – listen. I want to listen to how our citizens think we should tackle our state’s problems. That’s the first step in reclaiming our state – engaging our people, listening to ideas, and hearing about things I don’t know. In the process, I hope to figure out whether our people might be interested in a candidate for Governor who is a self-made entrepreneur rather than a politician, who has a passion for education, and a track record of getting results in business and the economy.”
* Rauner also provided a couple of statements from exploratory committee members, including this one…
Chairman: J.M. “Jim” Schultz, Effingham, IL – Founder of Open Prairie Ventures, Former Chairman Illinois Chamber of Commerce, Founder/Past President Effingham County Community Foundation, and Board Member/Past Chairman Southeastern Illinois Community Foundation.
Co-Chair: Elizabeth Christie, Chicago, IL— Founder of Avent America, angel investor in small start-ups, Board Member of the Illinois Policy Institute.
Dr. Richard Chaifetz, Lake Forest, IL – Founder, Chairman and CEO of ComPsych Corporation, the world’s largest employer of employee assistance programs serving over 53 million individuals throughout the U.S. and 120 countries, Chairman of Chaifetz Group, member of The Economic Club of Chicago, and the Executive’s Club of Chicago.
Lula Ford, Chicago, IL – Former Chicago public school teacher, principal and administrator, and public school reform activist, was also first African American appointed to the Illinois Commerce Commission in its 95-year history.
Ken Griffin, Chicago, IL – Founder and CEO of Citadel, Board of Directors of the Chicago Public Education Fund, member of the World Economic Forum, G100, the Economic Club of Chicago and Commercial Club of Chicago.
Greta Huzienga, Chicago, IL – Former Chicago public high school teacher and early childhood educator, Development Advisor to the Academy for Global Citizenship.
Warren Holtsberg, Wayne, IL – MVC Capital, Board member of the Illinois Venture Capital Association, the Chicagoland Entrepreneurship Center, and Illinois Ventures, the venture capital arm for the University of Illinois.
Edgar “Ned” Jannotta, Sr., Winnetka, IL – Chairman Emeritus of William Blair, past President of the Economic Club of Chicago and The Commercial Club of Chicago.
James Kenny, Glenview, IL – Former U.S. Ambassador to Ireland, former owner of Kenny Construction, served on transition team for former Illinois Governor Jim Edgar and President George W. Bush.
Robert E. King, Burr Ridge, IL – Chairman Rasmussen, Inc., Former Chairman and CEO of Deltak, Board Member of Benedictine University, The Academy of Urban School Leadership, the African Wildlife Foundation and Northwestern Wildcat Athletics Venture Enterprise Fund and Member of the Commercial Club of Chicago.
Peter Mason, Hinsdale, IL – Founding member of Freeborn & Peters and Chairman of the Executive Committee.
Ed McMillan, Greenville, IL – Former President & CEO Purina Mills, University of Illinois Board of Trustees, and Chairman University of Illinois Research Park LLC.
Jack Miller, Bannockburn, IL – Founder of Quill Office Supplies and The Jack Miller Center for Teaching America’s Founding Principles and History.
Charles Potter, Lake Forest, IL – President and CEO of Max McGraw Wildlife Foundation, Founder and Chairman Great Outdoors, LLC and former Vice President of the North American Wildlife Foundation and Chairman of the IL Nature Preserves Commission.
Jack Roeser, Carpentersville, IL – Founder of Otto Engineering, named Hi-Tech Entrepreneur of the Year, built 500 person hi-tech manufacturing business from a $5,000 start; public school reform activist.
E. Mitchell Roob, Jr. Indianapolis, IN – Native of Northbrook, IL and former Indiana Secretary of Commerce and Indiana Economic Development Corporation CEO who led bringing 55,000 new jobs and $8.1 billion in investments to Indiana in his term.
John Rowe, Chicago, IL – Former CEO of Exelon Corporation, Chairman of Illinois Institute of Technology.
William H. Strong – Co-Chief Executive for the Asia Pacific region of Morgan Stanley, led economic mission to Iraq in 2008 for the Department of Defense, past member of the Board of Visitors of the United States Military Academy at West Point, Illinois Finance Chairman for the Presidential campaign of Senator John McCain in 2008, and served as one of two National Co-Chairmen for the 2012 Presidential campaign of Governor Tim Pawlenty.
David Weinberg, Winnetka, IL – Chairman and CEO of Judd Enterprises.
Miles White, Lake Forest, IL – Chairman and CEO of Abbott Laboratories, Chairman of the Commercial Club of Chicago, serves as a Director for McDonalds, Caterpillar and Northwestern Memorial Hospital, and former Chairman of the Federal Reserve Bank of Chicago.
Lots of rich guys on that list.