Shake-up in Rauner administration: Governor names new chief of staff

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Illinois Gov. Bruce Rauner | G-Jun Yam/AP file photo

There’s been a shake-up in Gov. Bruce Rauner’s administration, with the Republican selecting a new chief of staff.

Kristina Rasmussen is shown at an Illinois Policy Institute event earlier this year featuring U.S. Sen. Rand Paul in the Merchandise Mart. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Kristina Rasmussen is shown at an Illinois Policy Institute event earlier this year featuring U.S. Sen. Rand Paul in the Merchandise Mart. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Kristina Rasmussen comes to the governor’s office from the Illinois Policy Institute, where she most recently served as president. She replaces Richard Goldberg, effective immediately.

The Illinois Policy Institute is a not-for-profit conservative-leaning think tank that has been a thorn in the side of Rauner’s political nemesis, Illinois House Speaker Michael Madigan, D-Chicago. Rauner has previously donated to the group and hired other staff from the organization, which runs a legal center and a news service.

From Rauner’s press release . . .

Rasmussen joins the Administration from the Illinois Policy Institute, where she has served as president and chief operating officer. Rasmussen previously served as director of government affairs for the National Taxpayers Union. She is a graduate of George Washington University and Randolph-Macon College. Kristina has worked tirelessly to defend taxpayers over the course of her career, said Gov. Rauner. Her record of achievement speaks for itself, both nationally and right here in the Prairie State. My vision has always been for an Illinois that is prosperous and compassionate, with a state government that serves the people, rather than the other way around. That’s Kristina’s vision too, and that’s why I have appointed her my next Chief of Staff.

Legislators recently approved a state budget that includes an income tax increase, over the Republican governor’s objections. Several Republicans backed the plan.

Goldberg has been a chief aide to Rauner for over three years, including during the 2014 gubernatorial campaign. He plans to return to foreign policy and national security consulting.

Contributing: Associated Press

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