Potential candidates for governor introduced themselves to attendees of the Shelby County Republicans Lincoln dinner Saturday evening at the First Church of the Nazarene Community building.
State Senator Bill Brady, State Treasurer Dan Rutherford, Bruce Rauner, and Dan Proff each spent a few minutes speaking about what they feel is best for the state. None of the men have made formal announcements for the gubernatorial race as of yet, but all are looking at the possibilities.
Shelby County was one of the stops in a series dinners Saturday evening. Cumberland and Effingham counties also held their Lincoln dinners.
Brady, 44th District Senator from Bloomington, was the Republican candidate for governor in 2010, losing to Pat Quinn by only a fraction of a percent.
“The Chicago democrats and the Governor cannot lay at the feet of our children the fiscal irresponsibility they have created,” Brady said. “This next election will be the difference between Chicago and the rest of the state. We need leadership in Springfield. I want to lay the groundwork to finish the job we started a couple years ago.”
Brady is expected to make a formal announcement for his candidacy in June.
Rutherford was born in Pontiac and served as a member of the Illinois House of Representatives from 1993 to 2003 and Senator of the 53rd district from 2003 to 2011 when he was elected as State Treasurer.
“When I came into office we had the largest income tax in the nation and owed $8.5 billion. Two years later, we have more than $9 billion in outstanding bills,” Rutherford said.
“If we (Republican party) intend to earn the right to govern the State of Illinois, we have to keep our party focused,” he said.
Rutherford is has not yet made an announcement of candidacy.
Bruce Rauner is a businessman born and raised in Illinois, but of a Swedish decent. He began working for and later became a partner in Golder, Thoma, Cressey , now known as GTCR.
“I am a businessman, not a politician,” Rauner said. “I want to take government back for the people. We need to fundamentally change the government to run like a business.”
He suggested shutting down the big parts of the government to restructure it.
His three-point plan is to reform the policies toward business, reform the government to become efficient and effective, and to provide better education and training for children and veterans which will result in better jobs.
Rauner has formed an exploratory committee to gauge support for his possible run for Governor.
Political commentator Dan Proff ran for governor in 2010 and is considering running again for the office.
“It’s courage we have lacked and it’s courage we need,” he said. “We all need to agree on what needs to happen.”
Proff was born nine months before the Roe v. Wade decision in 1973 and was adopted.
“I believe in the value of human life,” he said.
He said he believes to improve the State students need to be able to read at or above their grade level, businesses and families need be encouraged to stay in the State, and the most vulnerable in the state need to be cared for.
“We need to strike fear in the hearts of the Chicago democrats,” Proff said.
U.S. Congressman Rodney Davis (R. 13th District) was the keynote speaker for the evening. Davis, a Taylorville resident, was elected to Rep. Tim Johnson’s vacated seat in November.
“They don’t like me too well. I was the only Republican in a targeted race. Their focus is on me,” Davis said. “They’re coming after my core values and your core values, because we as a party have a vision for America.”
Davis praised the work of precinct committeemen and local party chairmen.