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Fox Valley leaders get behind Rauschenberger

Posted September 24, 2003

The Fox Valley already is represented by the third most powerful man in the federal government - Speaker of the House J. Dennis Hastert.

Now, if Steve Rauschenberger wins a U.S. Senate seat, Fox Valley officials say it could mean even more federal grants for their communities and even more clout in pushing issues important to them.

Hastert's presence in Washington has meant millions of dollars for projects in the Yorkville Republican's district, including much of Kane County, and local leaders hope the same would be true if Rauschenberger moves on to the nation's capital, as well.

A Republican state senator from Elgin, Rauschenberger already has shown he'll work hard for his hometown and the villages that surround it, Elgin Mayor Ed Schock said Tuesday.

"I know the mayors in his district ... know what a hard-worker this man is and what he's done for our communities," Schock said. "And I know we have no reason to expect anything less from him in Washington, D.C."

Schock introduced the 47-year-old state senator during a rally at the Hemmens Cultural Center in which Rauschenberger officially announced his bid for the U.S. Senate seat to be vacated next year by Republican Peter Fitzgerald.

Schock was joined by Streamwood Village President Billie Roth, East Dundee Village President Roger Ahrens and Barrington Hills Village President James Kempe.

In all, dozens of Fox Valley officials and family members attended the rally for Rauschenberger and offered words of encouragement.

East Dundee Police Chief Joe Pena, a leader in the Kane County Republican Party, said he's confident Rauschenberger won't forget about the Fox Valley if elected to the U.S. Senate.

"We can only benefit with Steve in that position," he said. "He certainly has the knowledge of our area to know what we need when certain issues come up in Washington."

Elgin Township Supervisor Doug Johnson agreed.

"Our representation goes that much further out in the political field and government," Johnson said. "It will bring us back the benefits."

Johnson said Rauschenberger could find new opportunities for the Fox Valley to get federal grants and could make it easier for local towns to lobby for changes in laws.

State Rep. Ruth Munson, an Elgin Republican, said Rauschenberger already helped secure millions in state funding for Elgin by way of cameras for police cars, buying the old salvage yard along the Fox River and refurbishing Walton Island.

"It didn't take long for me to realize this guy, our native son, could do what it takes to get things done," Munson said.

Others attending Tuesday's rally included state Sen. Chris Lauzen of Aurora, Elgin city council members Juan Figueroa and Tom Sandor; Kane County Coroner Chuck West; Kane County Treasurer David Rickert and Kane County Recorder Sandy Wegman.

In thanking all, Rauschenberger said: "I will carry you with me each day to the floor of the United States Senate."

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