Republican Bruce Rauner unveiled his transition team Thursday and it was filled with minorities and Democrats, including President Barack Obama’s former chief of staff Bill Daley.
His team also included more traditional members such as former Republican Gov. Jim Edgar and Caterpillar Inc. CEO Doug Oberhelman.
The news comes a day after Rauner announced his relatively inexperienced running mate, Evelyn Sanquinetti, will lead his transition process.
Daley, a brother of former Chicago Mayor Richard Daley and a former U.S. Secretary of Commerce, once considered mounting a primary challenge to Gov. Pat Quinn but decided to sit it out.
“I’m thrilled to help Governor-elect Bruce Rauner with his transition the office of governor,” Daley said at Rauner’s first press conference since his victory. “I’ve worked in both the private and the public sector, and I’ve experienced how critically important thorough preparation is for a seamless transition of power.”
Rauner used the occasion to outline his plans for working across the aisle in the years ahead. His transition team also includes the Rev. James Meeks, the South Side pastor and former Illinois senator, and Corey Brooks, another South Side minister who broke with the Democratic party to support Rauner.
“Our solutions will be bipartisan,” Rauner said. “I believe we have a mandate from this election to provide bipartisan solutions. For the first time in many years we have a Republican governor, we have a Democratic legislature. Our mission is not to bicker. It is not to waste time arguing, find petty faults. Our mission is to serve the people, all the people of Illinois.”
During a question-and-answer period, Rauner confirmed that he has not yet spoken to Gov. Pat Quinn, House Speaker Mike Madigan or Senate President John Cullerton. He reiterated his election-night promise to make Illinois a “compassionate and competitive” state.
But Rauner urged lawmakers not to pass a minimum wage hike during the lame-duck session of the General Assembly, which will last until Rauner’s inauguration Jan. 29.
Quinn already has said he will try to pass a minimum wage hike during his remaining three months in office.
Rauner made the case that he will support raising the minimum wage as governor but only as a component in a larger package of what he described as business-friendly financial reforms, including changes to the state’s tort-law system and workers’ compensation laws.