Illinois voters gave Republican Gov. Bruce Rauner a pretty clear indication of what they thought of him in 2018 with a 54%-38% drubbing at the hands of Democrat J.B. Pritzker — a losing margin of nearly 714,000 votes.
Now Rauner has returned the compliment by voting with his feet.
The one-term governor has switched his voter registration to his waterfront mansion in Key Largo, Florida, just south of Miami.
I can’t say whether that’s sour grapes on Rauner’s part or just an effort to save money on taxes (Florida doesn’t have a state income tax.) I could understand a desire to vote in a swing state.
But the move certainly doesn’t speak to any deep attachment to Illinois or its people, as Rauner professed while shelling out big bucks to get elected in the first place.
Rauner signed up to vote in Monroe County, Florida, on May 27, 2020. He is registered as a Republican.
The Rauners sold their home in Winnetka last year, although they still maintain a condo overlooking Millennium Park, a New York penthouse and ranches in Montana and Wyoming, at last check.
Rauner’s wife, Diana, who runs an early childhood education nonprofit headquartered in Chicago, continues to be registered to vote here.
The former governor arguably received some measure of vindication in July in his feud with Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan when charges were filed against Commonwealth Edison implicating Madigan as the unindicted Public Official A who benefitted from the utility’s influence-buying efforts.
Rauner has not made campaign donations in his own name to anyone in Illinois during the current two-year election cycle, state records show.
House Republican Leader Jim Durkin said he has spoken with Rauner several times about getting involved. And Durkin still seemed to be holding out hope the venture capitalist might help House GOP candidates.
“He’s aware of what we have at stake,” Durkin said.