News Local/State

Rauner Thanks Voters In Victory Tour

Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner greets supporters in Springfield, Ill.

Illinois Gov.-elect Bruce Rauner, left, greets supporters Friday, in Springfield, Ill. The Republican stopped in Springfield Friday on a six-city tour to thank supporters after his victory Tuesday over Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn. (AP Photo/Seth Perlman)

Illinois Governor-elect Bruce Rauner went on a state-wide victory tour Friday.

Rauner started his day in the southern Illinois town of Marion, where he greeted folks having breakfast at the Vault Café.  Jim Patrick voted for Rauner.  He says it's time the state become more business minded:

"We got to get the regulators off of business, get business where they can make a profit in Illinois so that we can keep the people from leaving the state", said Patrick.

Rauner re-enforced his campaign pledge to do just that, as well as promising to shore up local school funding through property tax relief.

"To do that we'll cut wasteful spending, over haul the tax code, so we're a growth state again; cut out the corporate welfare and tax loopholes; become a growing economy; and we'll have the money to fund our schools so our property owners aren't only relying on their local taxes for that."

Rauner avoided additional specifics, saying that he wants to work with the General Assembly to come up with solutions.  Rauner also reached out to Democrats and independent voters during his stop, saying it will take everyone working together to solve the state's problems.

Rauner also made stops Friday in O'Fallon, Springfield (where he greeted with former Governor Jim Edgar), Moline, Peoria, and Rockford.  He was joined by his wife and Lt. Governor-elect Evelyn Sanguinetti.

Also on Friday, Rauner announced that a former top aide to U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk would be his chief of staff.

Mike Zolnierowicz was deputy chief of staff to Kirk before joning Rauner's bid for governor. He was deputy campaign manager for the Republican and oversaw 500 paid employees and more than 10,000 volunteers.  

Rauner says he has worked with Zolnierowicz for more than a year and ``he has my complete trust and confidence.'' Rauner says his new aide shares his commitment to making Illinois ``the most compassionate and competitive'' of the states.  

Kirk, a senator since 2010, says Zolnierowicz has a great understanding of and love for Illinois.  

While he served Kirk, Zolnierowicz oversaw the Republican's Illinois operations.