CHICAGO - As reported by Illinois Review yesterday evening, Bill Brady announced his selection of Maria Rodriguez, a small business owner and former suburban mayor in Lake County, as his running mate for the 2014 gubernatorial election.
“Maria will bring a fresh perspective, a new ethic and a new energy to Springfield,” said Brady. “As a local government executive for eight years, she has a keen knowledge of the challenges facing communities throughout Illinois. Working with her husband in small business, she knows firsthand the effects that Illinois’ high taxes and overregulation have on attracting and maintaining small business jobs.”
“For 10 years, the Democrat administrations have put up roadblocks to building strong businesses and strong communities in Illinois. Together, we will set a new agenda for Illinois and chart a new direction toward greater financial security for our communities, for our state and for Illinois families,” Brady said.
If elected as lieutenant governor, Rodriguez will be responsible for shaping policies that encourage small business growth and community redevelopment in a retooled state economic development department in his administration, Brady said.
“We have the infrastructure, the resources, and most of all that Midwestern heart and work ethic to become a magnet state for business and commerce,” said Rodriguez. “What we don’t have is leadership. It is time to toss aside those so-called leaders who continue to force us to accept the ‘new normal’ of second-best and reclaim what is rightfully ours. It is time to put the people back in charge of Illinois.”
Rodriguez has lived in Chicago’s north and northwest suburbs most of her life. She and her husband Ray are small-business entrepreneurs with interests in manufacturing, agriculture, real estate and financial services.
She served as mayor of Long Grove for eight years before deciding not to seek re-election earlier this year. Her administration created a business expansion master plan that is well underway despite current economic challenges. She worked with community business leaders and stakeholders for the development of a new retail center bringing more than 300 new jobs to the community during the height of the economic recession.
During her tenure as mayor, she also served as vice chairman of the Lake County Stormwater Management Commission and as a member of the Blue Ribbon Advisory Commission which formulated the recommendation for the northern extension of Illinois Route 53. She has been a champion of government transparency and has a reputation as a common-sense consensus-builder regardless of party affiliation.
She has a degree in economics from the University of Illinois at Chicago and was a candidate for Congress in the former 8th Congressional District. She and her husband have been married for 33 years and have three grown children.