Governor Bruce Rauner as part of the launch of Uber in Champaign-Urbana at EnterpriseWorks in Champaign Sunday.
(Jeff Bossert/WILL)
February 15, 2015

Rauner Visits C-U For Uber Launch

Uber was launched in Champaign-Urbana Sunday, along with four other cities outside Chicago.  Gov. Rauner says he'll do all he can to bring high-tech companies like Uber to Champaign-Urbana. 

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the Illinois capitol dome as seen from inside the capitol looking up
Hannah Meisel/WILL
December 30, 2014

Illinois Politics Year In Review/Look Ahead

It's been quite a year in Illinois politics. After a lively and contentious race for the governor's mansion, Gov. Pat Quinn was ousted by Republican challenger Bruce Rauner. When Rauner is sworn in as governor in two weeks, it'll be the first time a Republican has held the office in 12 years.

(Audio is marked with specific subject matter; just click on WILL icon within SoundCloud track)

We asked Illinois Public Radio's statehouse bureau chief Amanda Vinicky to give us the rundown of what happened in 2014, and how a new Republican administration could shift the dynamics in Springfield in 2015.

Though Rauner ran on the promise to "shake up Springfield," Vinicky notes that the party change in the governor's mansion was one of the only adjustments; Democrats in the General Assembly held onto their veto-proof majorities in both the House and Senate in November, and down-ballot Republicans did not do as well as Rauner -- as in the case of the race for state treasurer. Weeks after Election Day, state Sen. Mike Frerichs (D-Champaign) was finally declared the winner of that contest against former Republican House minority leader Tom Cross (R-Oswego). 

Much was made of Democratic plans to extend the 2011 income tax hike, but the New Year will see that tax rate roll back, something Rauner will have to contend with as the state faces a gaping hole in its budget. 

And what of Gov. Quinn? He's been around state government for four decades, in roles actually in government, or as an antagonistic gadfly, calling for good-government reform. Where will Quinn go after holding the state's highest office?

November 04, 2014

Quinn Refuses To Concede Until Provisional Ballots Are Counted

Gov. Pat Quinn is not conceding his re-election bid to Republican Bruce Rauner.  Quinn told supporters Tuesday evening that there are outstanding votes to be counted and he doesn't "believe in throwing in the towel." 

With more than 90 percent of precincts reporting, Rauner led Quinn by about 4 percentage points. Rauner gave a victory speech outlining his goals for the state. However, Quinn spokeswoman Brooke Anderson says there are a large number of votes in Chicago and Cook County to be counted, including provisional and mail ballots.

Rauner is a Winnetka venture capitalist who sought public office for the first time. Quinn is a Chicago Democrat who sought a second full term. It's one of the most competitive governor's races in the nation.

November 03, 2014

Gubernatorial Candidates Make Final Campaign Stops Before Election Day

The major-party candidates for Illinois governor toured the state Monday in a final surge of campaigning before Election Day on Tuesday.  

Governor Pat Quinn started his tour in Chicago, appearing with Democratic party leaders at a South Side campaign office on Monday morning.

"I love Illinois; this is home. Home is worth fighting for, home is worth sacrificing for”, said Quinn.

Those in attendance at the rally included Illinois Attorney General Lisa Madigan who's seeking re-election against Republican Paul Schimpf and U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin who is being challenged by GOP state Sen. Jim Oberweis. 

The Democrats continued their plug for raising the minimum wage and stressed the state's union strength. 

Quinn was set to appear in Illinois cities the rest of Monday including Rockford, Peoria and Marion. 

Meanwhile, some of Illinois' top Republicans joined GOP candidate Bruce Rauner as he urged supporters to go to the polls  --- and bring their friends. 

Rauner was joined Monday by former Gov. Jim Edgar, U.S. Congressmen Aaron Schock and Rodney Davis, and 2012 GOP gubernatorial candidate and State Senator Bill Brady. 

"I love Illinois, this is home”, said Rauner at a rally in Bloomington. “Home is worth fighting for, home is worth sacrificing for.”

During a stop at a Bloomington diner, Rauner told supporters to ``Get out there and vote.'' 

Edgar supported then-state Sen. Kirk Dillard during the Republican GOP primary. But he says ``Illinois is in trouble'' and the state needs a governor who can get the budget and the economy on track. 

Rauner started his day at a Chicago diner before planned stops in Springfield, Moline, Rockford and Lincolnshire. 

Election eve for both candidates ended with Get Out the Vote events in the Chicago area.

And both Quinn and Rauner "celebration parties" scheduled in the city, for once the polls close.

Libertarian Chad Grimm of Peoria is also on the gubernatorial ballot.

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