CHICAGO - GOP Gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner today announced the launch of his Veterans for Rauner Coalition.
"As Americans, we owe everything to our veterans and I am proud to earn the support of so many Illinois veterans," Rauner said. "Veterans, like all Illinoisans, are suffering under Pat Quinn's record job losses, 67% income tax hike, runaway property taxes and broken education system. We need to shake up Springfield and bring back Illinois to ensure our veterans have the opportunities they deserve."
"Our veterans gave everything to defend this country and the least we can do is make sure they have jobs when they return," U.S. Senator Mark Kirk said. "We need a governor who will create job opportunities for Illinois veterans - our veterans need Bruce Rauner."
Members of the coalition include:
Senator Mark Kirk - U.S. Senator Mark Kirk is a retired Navy Reserve Intelligence Officer. Kirk is a veteran of Operation Allied Force (Kosovo) and Operation Northern Watch (Iraq) and later completed brief reserve tours in Afghanistan. Before his retirement, Kirk served as a Deputy Director of Intelligence in the Pentagon's National Joint Operations Intelligence Center. As a congressman, Kirk saved the North Chicago VA and led the effort to build the first joint Navy-VA hospital in the nation. Now as the ranking member of the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Military Construction and Veterans Affairs, Kirk is leading the fight to improve VA healthcare, reduce the disability claims backlog and hold accountable those involved in creating secret wait lists.
Congressman Adam Kinzinger - An Air Force pilot who served in Iraq and Afghanistan, Adam Kinzinger now fights to restore liberty and create opportunity for constituents of the Sixteenth District. He is committed to rolling back the old government bureaucracy, empowering individuals to succeed, and reforming our government to better meet the needs of Americans in the 21st century - ultimately passing the next generation a stronger and more secure country.
Dave Leckrone, Colonel U.S Army (Retired), Combat Veteran. Deputy Division Commander for Support-2007-2008 Operation Iraqi Freedom. Recipient of the Legion of Merit, two Bronze Stars, the Combat Action Badge and a graduate of the Army War College. Founder of Leckrone Military Consulting. State-wide advocate for service members, veterans, and their families.
Doug Truax - Graduated from West Point in 1992, Ranger School in 1993, and was a Field Artillery Officer for six years, leaving the service as a Captain. He went on to start his own healthcare consulting company.
Patti Smith, a proud mother of two US Marines, Founder of Operation Santa sending over 200,000 Christmas stockings to deployed troops since 2005. She also founded and serves as the President of Central Illinois Gold Star Families.
Juan Pérez - Sergeant, United States Marine Corps, Scout Sniper in Operation Enduring Freedom, 2010. Recipient of the Combat Action Badge and the Good Conduct Medal. Student at DePaul University and advocate to reduce the unemployment rate for Illinois Veterans.
Royce Davis, Command Sergeant Major US Army (Retired). Three Time Combat Veteran-Vietnam 1969-1970; Operation Iraqi Freedom 2005-2006 and 2007-2008 (The Surge).
Bobby J. Edwards, Chief Warrant Officer Five, U. S. Army (Retired). 2005-2006 Operation Iraqi Freedom. Recipient of Legion of Merit, two Meritorious Service Medals, four Army Commendation Medals, Master Parachutist Badge. Commander, VFW Post #10302.
Dave Harris, Sergeant, United States Marine Corps, Vietnam Veteran. Commander of the 23rd District of the Department of the Illinois American Legion. Founder of Harris Police Equipment in rural Fayette County, Illinois.
Andy Uhe, Tech Sergeant, Air National Guard. Veteran Operation Enduring Freedom-Afghanistan 2008. Recipient of the National Defense Service Medal, Global War on Terrorism Service Medal, Air Reserve Forces Meritorious Service Medal, Afghanistan Campaign Medal, and the Air Force Expeditionary Service Medal. Pursuing his MBA from Illinois State University.