By Victoria Sananikone, Assistant Editor
With the midterm election peeking over the horizon, some may say that governor Bruce Rauner has a storm coming for him. The candidates running for governor are strong and unique within their stances on how to further the success of the state of Illinois. However, Bruce Rauner has already succeeded in fulfilling this concept. Currently serving as governor number 42 of Illinois, his greatest mission was to improve all of the education systems across Illinois. He has been victorious with this goal in multiple different ways, but this success only came after he climbed to the top of the latter.
Born and raised in Illinois, Rauner is a self-made businessman whose goal is to transform Illinois because it is his home, and “home is worth fighting for.” His primary vision “is to create a more prosperous state where everyone has the opportunity to succeed,” this vision born from the importance of hard work and giving back to your community, both values he learned from his grandfather at a young age. The first two jobs he landed were none too glamorous, as burger flipping and parking cars are never seen as such unless you’re serving the Queen of England or parking a Porsche. Rauner continued his academic career at Dartmouth college where he graduated with top honors, going on to receive his M.B.A from Harvard University. Afterwards, he began his professional career at an investment firm that was just getting its wheels rolling, a firm called Golder, Thoma, Cressey (later referred to as GTRC). Rauner was one of the company’s first members, and he helped to craft it into one of the most well known and respected firms in the state of Illinois.
Furthering the prosperity of Illinois, Rauner has given back his community by supporting education, local hospitals and community organizations. He has played a key roll in the development of Chicago’s new Red Cross regional headquarters, scholarship programs for disadvantaged students and multiple charter high schools. He has also served on the boards of a few civic organizations such as The Noble Network of Charter Schools, World Business Chicago and the University of Illinois Chancellor’s Strategic Advisory Board. Not only has he increased early childhood education funding by $200 million, he has also increased K-12 education funding by a record of $1.4 billion. A defining factor in his career was when he “created the state’s first ever tuition tax credit scholarship program to give educational choice to low- income families,” a feat that changed the lives of many Illinoians. Rauner’s legacy does not stop there. He continues to promote job growth, fight for taxpayers, fight for an ethical and accountable government, and he continues to serve veterans.
Despite his fame, Rauner is a down to earth man whose humility is evident from the $18 watch he wears on his wrist. He drives a 20-year-old camper van and stays in the cheapest hotels he can find when he is on the road. These aspects, as well as his love for the outdoors, channel his conservative nature. His passion for a strong education system is evident from all that he has accomplished, and all that he plans to accomplish in the future. It is safe to say, that Bruce Rauner would be a tough opponent to overcome.