Bull Valley resident Gary Rabine, a longtime businessman in the northwest suburbs as the leader of Schaumburg-based paving, roofing and snow removal company Rabine Group, announced his intent to run for governor as a Republican in the 2022 election Sunday in an interview with the Northwest Herald.
The Richmond-Burton High School graduate has yet to formalize his candidacy by filing the appropriate paperwork with state elections officials, and said he would do so within the coming weeks and make an official announcement of his campaign.
“Gary Rabine would be a great governor for Illinois,” McHenry Mayor Wayne Jett said. “I believe he can win the primary and ultimately be the next governor.”
If Rabine follows through and does file to appear on primary ballots, it would be the first time a candidate from McHenry County affiliated with one of the two major political parties ran for governor in the lifetime of Jack Franks, a Democrat and former state lawmaker from Marengo who was the first democratically elected McHenry County board chairman, he said.
Franks said he would be surprised if Rabine pulls the trigger to formalize his candidacy.
“He’s a great fellow and a patriot,” McHenry Township Trustee Steve Verr, a Republican, said of Rabine.
Verr suggested Rabine would be a better governor than fellow Republican Bruce Rauner was before JB Pritzker, the current Democratic governor, won the gubernatorial office.
“He’s hardly a career politician. Just a brave fellow who can see several steps ahead and the downward spiral of the state under terrible hacks like Rauner and Pritzker,” Verr said.
Rabine, who would be a first time candidate for public office, was involved in setting up the visit from high-profile Trump supporters Donald Trump Jr. and Kimberly Guilfoyle to the Bull Valley Country Club ahead of the November election for a campaign event in support of the former president. Rabine has an ownership stake in the golf club.
He is an advisory council member to Turning Point USA, a right-wing political advocacy group.
Rabine, whose wife Cheryl died in October, admitted he “has a lot to learn” about state policymaking and how lawmakers operate.
“But what I don’t have to learn is common-sense economics, what creates jobs, what pushes jobs out, and what kills the value of our assets, of Illinois citizens’ properties and jobs and small businesses,” Rabine said in an interview. “I’m not the most eloquent speaker in the world for sure. I don’t have an Ivy League education like some of these people that run in government. But I’m very confident common sense works.”