|Running for Governor of Illinois|
|Date of primary||March 18, 2014|
|General election||November 4, 2014|
|January 10, 2011 - Present|
|January 12, 2015|
|Years in position||4|
|Predecessor||Alexi Giannoulias (D)|
|Elections and appointments|
|First elected||November 2, 2010|
|Next general||November 4, 2014|
|Illinois State Senate|
|2003 - 2010|
|Illinois House of Representatives|
|Bachelor's||Illinois State University (1978)|
|Date of birth||May 26, 1955|
|Place of birth||Pontiac, Illinois|
- 1 Biography
- 2 Political career
- 3 Elections
- 4 Campaign donors
- 5 Recent news
- 6 Personal
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
- 9 References
Rutherford served as a Legislative Assistant for former State Representative Tom Ewing from 1978 to 1980 and was a Business Executive.
He served in the Illinois State Senate, representing District 53 from 2003 to 2010 and serving as an Assistant Minority Leader. Before becoming a Senator, Rutherford was a member of the Illinois House of Representatives from 1993 to 2003. 
- BS, Business Administration, Illinois State University, 1978
State treasurer (2011-Present)
When they were first elected, Rutherford and comptroller Judy Baar Topinka said they planned to flex their muscle as the state’s fiscal officers, with an aim at Gov. Pat Quinn’s borrowing. Quinn called borrowing one of his “budget pillars,” yet the state treasurer and comptroller must sign-off on short term borrowing, according to Illinois state law.
“I have a number of questions about any type of short term borrowing,” Topinka said. “What will the money be used for, how long will it be out, and is there money for the state to pay it back?”
Topinka said she would not issue blank checks to the governor. Rutherford said he thought he had a mandate to be tough and that voters picked Republicans to hold the fiscal offices of the state for a reason.
“[One] thing that I think is going to be impactful is to have people who are willing to articulate what may be a differing opinion on the finances of the state.”
Rutherford said that not all borrowing is bad, but that he worried about Illinois’ mounting debt and the state’s ability to repay what it borrows. 
While Rutherford cannot stop lawmakers from borrowing billions to pay the state’s backlog of unpaid bills, he said he planned to deter this practice by making it more expensive.
On May 23, 2011, Rutherford said he could not support adding to Illinois' burgeoning debt.
He released his own report that states Illinois total debt would cost every household in the state $42,000. Rutherford arrived at the number by adding Illinois’ $140 billion in unfunded pension and health-care liabilities, the state’s $45 billion bond debt, and the nearly $8 billion in unpaid bills.
The treasurer said lawmakers must cut spending and live within their means in order for Illinois to pay off the debt.
“You can’t borrow anymore money,” said Rutherford. “And if I need to send letters to the rating companies to tell them the treasurer of Illinois is opposed to any more borrowing, I’ll go ahead and do that.”
Rutherford said alerting national rating agencies and bond houses could make it more expensive for Illinois to borrow. He said hoped that step would give lawmakers pause before asking for a billion dollars.
Criticism for raises
Rutherford, along with Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka, came under criticism in September 2011 for giving pay raises during a fiscal crisis. Topinka gave 56 employees raises of at least 3 percent and several employees raises up to 15 percent. Rutherford gave out 19 raises averaging 16 percent increases. The issue came to light by an analysis of payroll records by the Better Government Association, a Chicago nonprofit group.
Illinois State Senate (2003-2010)
Illinois State House (1993-2003)
- See also: Illinois gubernatorial election, 2014
Challenges for Gov. Quinn
Current incumbent Pat Quinn, a Democrat who went from lieutenant governor to governor following Rod Blagojevich's 2009 impeachment, won a full term in 2010 and lost his bid for re-election in 2014 to Republican Bruce Rauner. According to multiple outside ratings, Quinn was among the most vulnerable governors in the 2014 electoral cycle.
Incumbent Lt. Gov Sheila Simon (D) announced in February 2013 that she would not run for re-election in 2014 alongside Quinn, her 2010 running mate. Simon said she wanted to seek a new office that would allow her to have a "greater impact," and later declared her candidacy for state comptroller. Simon's thinly veiled swipe at the office's impact was followed shortly thereafter by the Illinois House of Representatives' approval of a proposal seeking to eliminate the position of lieutenant governor altogether by constitutional amendment, effective after the 2018 election. In order for the measure to be passed, it would need the approval of both the State Senate and Illinois voters. Quinn said he wanted “a people person” to replace Simon, and ultimately settled on former Chicago public schools chief Paul Vallas.
The 2014 electoral cycle marked the first time in Illinois history that candidates for the offices of governor and lieutenant governor ran on a single ticket in the primary election phase. Spurred by the 2010 election fiasco when Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor Scott Lee Cohen had to drop out of the race after being arrested on charges of steroid use and domestic battery, the new joint ticket rule intended to increase the importance of the lieutenant governor based on its partnership with the governor. In theory, allowing gubernatorial candidates to handpick their running mates for the primary would cause campaigns to "better define their priorities for voters and cover more ground as election season gets underway."
As of March 2015, Illinois is one of 7 Democratic state government trifectas. In such a blue state, it was expected that Quinn's biggest threat in 2014 would come from a fellow Democrat. The potential primary challenges for Quinn included William "Bill" Daley, a past U.S. Commerce Secretary and White House chief of staff, and attorney general Lisa Madigan. Quinn dodged both bullets as both potential challengers removed themselves from contention by September 2013. Madigan dropped her long anticipated bid in June 2013 in order to seek another term as attorney general. In September 2013, after a promising first stretch of campaigning, Daley abruptly ended his campaign for the Democratic nomination. Called "a member of Chicago's first political family," for his relation to two of Chicago's longest-reigning mayors, Daley's departure in particular was a coup for Quinn, whose apparently bleak re-election prospects improved markedly in his absence.
Quinn was the fifth out of a total of 46 previous Illinois lieutenant governors to have succeeded to the governorship mid-term. As governor, Quinn emphasized improving the state government's ethical standards and protecting public-sector labor unions. His tenure was marred by steep, deeply unpopular budget cuts and tax increases stemming from long-term state debt among other issues that contributed to his status among the least popular governors facing re-election in 2014.
Bruce Rauner earned the endorsement of the Chicago Tribune prior to the general election. The Chicago Tribune traditionally endorses Republican candidates for statewide and national office, with the notable exception of the paper's endorsement for Barack Obama (D) in the 2008 presidential election.
Quinn and Rauner ran against Libertarian candidate Chad Grimm. There were three other third party tickets in race, led by Michael Oberline (Constitution) Scott Summers (Green) and Michael Hawkins (Independent), until an August 22 petition challenge ruling by the Illinois State Board of Elections disqualified their respective parties from appearing on the November 4 ballot. It was the first time in a decade that the Libertarian Party, which survived the signature challenge, was the only minor party to compete for Illinois statewide office in the general election.
Primary review, cross-party vote phenomenon
On September 3, 2013, individuals aiming to qualify for a slot on the March 2014 primary ballot began gathering signatures. The filing period for major party primary candidates ended on December 2, 2013, with only one Democrat, Tio Hardiman, filing to go up against Quinn. On the Republican end, candidates included state Sens. Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard, state treasurer Dan Rutherford and venture capitalist Bruce Rauner. Early polls showed Rutherford as the front-runner for the GOP nomination, but Rauner rocketed ahead of the pack by November 2013 and maintained a 15-point average lead up to the March primary, which he won.
A newcomer to politics, Rauner achieved the name recognition he needed to overcome his more established opponents with the help of massive campaign spending totaling nearly $14 million, including $6 million of his own money—the highest amount a candidate has ever spent on his own primary campaign for governor in Illinois.
Unofficial results from the March 18 primaries revealed some steep deviations from typical voting behaviors recorded in past elections. Based on the breakdown of votes in the Republican and Democratic gubernatorial primaries provided by the Chicago Tribune on election night, Ballot Access News analyzed what appeared to be a spectacularly low turnout of Democratic voters (438,112 votes) in the party's nominally contested primary. They detected that hundreds of thousands of Democratic voters must have taken advantage of the state's mixed-hybrid primary system to vote the Republican ballot instead of their own. Under Illinois' primary rules, voters can change parties each year but must declare a party affiliation at the polls. Depending on which party is chosen, the voter will then be counted as registered for that party. Voters may change party affiliation at polls or caucus.
The mass cross-over by Democrats was linked to one specific issue highlighted in this year's GOP governor's race: government employee unions. Most of the Democrats who participated in the Republican primary did so in order to ensure Kirk Dillard, who sided with the unions in the state senate, would lose to Bruce Rauner, who promised to curtail union influence.
In Illinois, the last time more votes were cast in the Republican than the Democratic gubernatorial primary was 1986; not since the 1940s had so few votes been cast in a Democratic gubernatorial primary election. Compared to the last five Illinois gubernatorial elections, there was no significant spike in Republican votes in 2014, indicating the trend reversal was caused by a tremendous drop in Democratic gubernatorial primary votes cast.
|Republican gubernatorial primary - hypothetical match-up|
|Poll||Dan Rutherford||Bill Brady||Bruce Rauner||Kirk Dillard||Margin of Error||Sample Size|
|Capitol Fax/We Ask America Poll|
(June 20, 2013)
|Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to|
Rutherford won his campaign for state treasurer in the November 2, 2010 election.
|Illinois State Treasurer General Election, 2010|
|Green||Scott K. Summers||3.2%||115,772|
|Election Results via Follow The Money|
|Illinois State Senate, District 53 General Election, 2008|
Comprehensive donor information for Rutherford is available dating back to 1996. Based on available campaign finance records, Rutherford raised a total of $7,829,213 during that time period. This information was last updated on July 10, 2013.
Ballotpedia collects information on campaign donors for each year in which a candidate or incumbent is running for election. The following table offers a breakdown of Dan Rutherford's donors each year. Click [show] for more information.
|Dan Rutherford's Campaign Contributions|
Illinois State Senate
Illinois Secretary of State
(Lost general election)
Illinois State Senate
|Total Raised by General Election Opponent||$790,389||n/a||$2,153,578||n/a|
|Top 5 contributors||Danny Rutherford||$200,162||Muneer Satter||$50,000||Jimmy Johns Franchise||$74,900||Dan Rutherford||$61,153|
|James Liautaud||$100,000||Terence Graunke||$25,000||James N Pritzker Political Participation Fund||$45,000||Lexington Square Inc||$11,500|
|James N Pritzker Political Participation Fund||$58,000||James Liautaud||$25,000||James Liautaud||$31,000||Committee for Legislative Action||$11,500|
|James Pritzker||$50,000||Committee for Legislative Action||$10,000||Illinois Manufacturers Association||$11,000||Community Bankers Association of Illinois||$9,500|
|Maclean-Fogg Co||$35,000||Illinois Bankers Association||$7,500||Jeffrey Diederich||$10,500||Illinois Realtors Association||$9,175|
This section displays the most recent stories in a Google news search for the term "Dan + Rutherford + Illinois + Treasurer"
- All stories may not be relevant to this page due to the nature of the search engine.
Rutherford resides in Pontiac, Illinois.
- Social media:
- Summary, biography, voting record, and interest group ratings at Project Vote Smart
- Profile at Wikipedia
- Campaign contributions at Follow The Money
- Biography from the 96th Illinois General Assembly
- Collected news and commentary at CBS Chicago
- Collected news and commentary at the Chicago Tribune
- "New Ill. GOP comptroller, treasurer: no blank checks for Dem gov’s borrowing," Illinois Statehouse News, November 10, 2010
- The Southern, "Rutherford announces gov. campaign in Southern Illinois," June 2, 2013
- Illinois State Treasurer, "Meet Treasurer Rutherford," accessed September 15, 2012
- "Illinois treasurer says ‘no’ to more debt to pay state bills," By Benjamin Yount, Illinois Statehouse News, May 23, 2011
- Forbes, "Watchdog questions comptroller, treasurer raises," September 26, 2011
- "Dan Rutherford on Civil Unions," Illinois Statehouse News, December 1, 2010
- Dan Rutherford Illinois State Treasurer, "Dan Rutherford preparing for 2014 bid for Governor," accessed May 21, 2013
- Journal Gazette & Times-Courier, "Rutherford plans future run for governor," January 9, 2013
- Governing Politics, "2013-2014 Governor's Races: Who's Vulnerable?," December 11, 2012
- Chicago Tribune, "Simon will not run again for lieutenant governor," February 13, 2013
- Chicago Magazine, "What Happens After Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon Quits Pat Quinn’s Team," March 26, 2013
- The Chicago Tribune, "House votes to eliminate lieutenant governor post," April 12, 2013
- CBS Local - Chicago, "2014 Governor Candidates To Choose Running Mates," August 24, 2013
- Capitol Fax, "This just in… Lisa Madigan announces re-election bid," July 15, 2013
- Governing, "William Daley Considering Bid for Illinois Governor," December 21, 2012
- Chicagobusiness.com, "Daley files paperwork for governor run," June 10, 2013
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- New Jersey Herald, "Daley: Exit from race doesn't mean I couldn't win," September 17, 2013
- St. Louis Today, "Illinois Gov. Quinn 2nd least popular incumbent going into 2014," April 9, 2013
- Chicago Tribune, "For governor: The Tribune endorses Bruce Rauner, to revive Illinois," October 10, 2014
- Chicago Sun-Times, "Chicago Tribune endorses Obama. First Democrat to get Trib presidential nod," October 17, 2008
- Ballot Access News, "Libertarian Party Statewide Slate Will Appear on Illinois Ballot," August 22, 2014
- CapitolFax.com, "Capitol Fax/We Ask America Poll - Poll shows Rauner movement," July 8, 2013
- Crain's Chicago Business, "How Bruce Rauner won the GOP primary," March 19, 2014
- Peoria Public Radio, "How the self-funding of Rauner's campaign is impacting the race for Governor," March 12, 2014
- Chicago Tribune, "Election Calendar, Primary Results," last updated March 18, 2014
- Ballot Access News, "Shockingly Low Turnout in Illinois Democratic Primary Suggests Many Democrats Voted in Republican Primary," March 20, 2014
- Illinois Senate election results for 2008
- Follow the Money, "Career fundraising for Dan Rutherford," accessed July 10, 2013
- Follow the Money.org, "Home," accessed February 17, 2015
Alexi Giannoulias (D)
|Illinois State Treasurer
| Succeeded by|
|Illinois Senate District 53
| Succeeded by|