Rauschenberger makes it official

Tuesday, September 23, 2003

By The Leader-Chicago Bureau (chicago@illinoisleader.com)

State Senator Steve Rauschenberger (R-Elgin) announced his plans to run for U.S. Senate today, making his first public appearance without his noted beard.
State Senator Chris Lauzen (R-Aurora) told the crowd how Rauschenberger, Peter Fitzgerald, Patrick O'Malley, Dave Syverson and Lauzen were called the "Fab Five" when they entered the state senate as freshmen in 1992.
Former State Rep. DeLoris Doederlein (center) said that Rauschenberger knocked on doors for her when he was a teenager.
ELGIN -- Flanked on either side by fellow Republican lawmakers from the Illinois House and Senate, today a newly-clean shaven State Senator Steve Rauschenberger (R-Elgin) announced his candidacy for U.S. Senate before a home town crowd in Elgin's Hemmen's Auditorium.

Immediately following a presentation of his forthcoming political ad featuring Rauschenberger?s barbershop experience of having his trademark beard shaved and emerging from the barber?s chair saying, ?I?m ready. . . ,? the 47 year old lawmaker said he was running for U.S. Senate, ?offering the prospect of progress, not just promises.?

?After serving eleven years in the Illinois Senate I am ready,? Rauschenberger told his supporters. ?I spent six years honing my beliefs on the grindstone of practicality under Governor Jim Edgar. I spent the next four years standing up against the abuses of the George Ryan administration, and have spent the last year speaking out against the ward politics of the new Governor.?

Likely to be the very last candidate to announce his bid for the Senate race, Rauschenberger told the crowd of school age children and senior citizens over and over again, ?I?m ready.?

Several of those who have served in the Illinois General Assembly agree with him. State Representative Ruth Munson (R-Elgin) lauded the senator, paying respects to her predecessor, the late State Rep. Doug Hoeft (R-Elgin) , who was close personal friends with Rauschenberger.

Also speaking on Rauschenberger?s behalf was State Senators Chris Lauzen (R-Aurora), Brad Burzynski (R-Sycamore) and Dave Syverson (R-Rockford).

?When you look at all the candidates who are running, only one has the experience - Steve Rauschenberger,? Syverson said. ?Only one has negotiated the most successful welfare reform program in the country. . . only one has a history of ten years of fighting for working families in Illinois . . . only one has worked to secure over a billion dollars in tax cuts for Illinois citizens over the last ten years. A true leader is someone who is willing to put principles over politics . . . That?s Steve Rauschenberger.?

?I?m convinced that Steve Rauschenberger is going to be a national leader,? Senator Peter Roskam (R-Wheaton) said privately before the rally. ?He?s the guy I am working for. Twenty-two of the Republican senators have signed on to help Steve.?

?I?ve settled on Steve Rauschenberger,? conservative Jack McInerney, former candidate for lieutenant governor said. ?I?ve interviewed all the candidates, and I?ve settled on him.?

Other public officials from Rauschenberger?s past also voiced their support. ?I?m going to work for Steve, of course,? former State Representative DeLoris Doederlein, who served the Illinois House from 1986-1992, said today.

?Steve walked for me when he was young. It?s sad his dad isn?t here today,? she said. ?He would have been so proud. Steve?s dad was the one that got those kids involved in politics at a young age. He would have been so proud.?

Rauschenberger will continue his tour around Illinois over the next three days, hitting Rockford and Dixon today, Rock Island, Peoria, Bloomington and Springfield on Wednesday and Quincy, Belleville, Carbondale and Marion on Thursday. He has Urbana scheduled for Friday morning.


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