By Emily Lapinski
Republican Bruce Rauner can finally rest after one of the closest and costliest elections in the state of Illinois ended last week. In December Rauner, who won the election for Illinois governor last Wednesday by a five percent margin, will supersede Governor Pat Quinn.
The election, which took place just a week after Gov. Quinn’s visit to Dominican, proved to be unfavorable and Quinn did not concede until the day after the results.
President Donna Carroll said: “It was such a close race. I went to bed not knowing but I thought Quinn handled it well. Imputed voting is a strong initiative so it was right of him to wait for all the votes. He was definitely dignified in his disappointment.”
Student Government Association president Cutberto Aguayo said the win had a lot to do with decreased voting: “Rauner owes his win as much to the citizens that actually voted for him as to those individuals who failed to take their voice to the polls. Voting was down in Chicago by seven percent. When professors asked who was going to vote or who voted, I was between two or three raising my hand in a class of 30. It is ironic those who are most affected by political decisions, such as students, minorities and the poor, are not performing their even their most basic civic duties.”
Gov. Quinn grew up nearby Hinsdale, Ill. and went to Fenwick High School in Oak Park, so it was natural that he developed a strong relationship with Dominican.
President Carroll hopes to create an equally positive partnership with Rauner. Carroll said: “The level of affinity is not there now but I look forward to building a new relationship with him. We have to take a deep breath and see how his statements on higher education become directions he may take. He seems conciliatory and I believe that his commitment to education is authentic because his spouse works within the education system.”
Rauner’s election has the potential to affect the actualization of the grants given by Gov. Quinn. However, President Carroll remains optimistic that Rauner will deliver the funds as promised by Gov. Quinn. “It’s not done till it’s done but I am hopeful,” said Carroll. “Both grants are well in process and I am cautiously confident that all will go as planned. In government transitions, new folks tend to respect former decisions. His priorities may be different but he seems extremely open through dialogue.”
Aguayo thinks not much will change because Democrats still have majority in the Illinois House and Senate and vetoes can be overridden. Aguayo said: “With the change in governor, I think we might see less grants and other things that were so prominently given to institutions around the area. Rauner is not from around the area and Quinn had deep ties to the area.”
Republicans on campus are ready for change and have been anticipating this moment. Junior Chance Emlund, who worked for the Rauner campaign said: As someone who volunteered for the Rauner campaign, I am extremely happy with the outcome of the election. I worked countless hours making phone calls, doing voter reach out and even got the opportunity to shake Bruce’s hand so I am glad that it paid off in the long run. I am excited to see what he can do for this state in areas such as pension, education and corruption.”