Massachusetts, New Hampshire and Texas are holding elections next week. Find out what's on your ballot in our latest report.

Dan Rutherford

From Ballotpedia
Revision as of 14:45, 20 March 2014 by Maresa Strano (Talk | contribs)

Jump to: navigation, search
Dan Rutherford
Dan Rutherford.jpg
Illinois Treasurer
In office
January 10, 2011 - Present
Term ends
January 12, 2015
Years in position 4
PredecessorAlexi Giannoulias (D)
Base salary$135,669
Elections and appointments
Last electionMarch 18, 2014
First electedNovember 2, 2010
Campaign $$7,829,213
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Illinois State Senate
2003 - 2010
Illinois House of Representatives
Bachelor'sIllinois State University (1978)
Date of birthMay 26, 1955
Place of birthPontiac, Illinois
Office website
Personal website
Campaign website
Dan Rutherford (b. May 26, 1955, in Pontiac, Illinois) is the current Republican Treasurer of Illinois. First elected in 2010, Rutherford succeeded Alexi Giannoulias.[1] Rutherfod's seat next comes up for election in November 2014; His first term as state treasurer expires in January 2015.

Rutherford was a candidate for Governor of Illinois in the 2014 elections. He officially launched his campaign on June 3, 2013, and later selected Steve Kim as his running mate.[2] He and Kim ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination in the primary election on March 18.

Rutherford represented District 53 in the Illinois State Senate from 2003-2010, and served as Senate Assistant Minority Leader. Prior to that, Rutherford served ten years in the Illinois House of Representatives.[1]

Before becoming a politician, Rutherford had a career as a business executive. He also worked as legislative assistant to former state Rep. Tom Ewing from 1978 to 1980.[3]


Rutherford is a native of Pontiac, Illinois. He graduated in 1978 from Illinois State University with his Bachelor's degree in business administration.[3] He worked as a business executive and as legislative assistant to former State Representative Tom Ewing before launching his career in public service. He was first elected to the Illinois House of Representatives from 1993 to 2003.[4]


  • B.S. in Business Administration - Illinois State University (1978)

Political career

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.[1]


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.[5]

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.[6]

Illinois State Senate (2003-2010)

Civil Unions

Rep. Rutherford was the only GOP lawmaker to vote yes on the civil unions legislation before it headed to Gov. Quinn’s desk.[7]

Illinois State House (1993-2003)

Rutherford served in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1993 to 2003.



See also: Illinois gubernatorial election, 2014

Rutherford ran for Governor of Illinois alongside running mate Steve Kim. He lost in the Republican primary election on March 18, 2014. The general election took place November 4, 2014.[2][8][9]

Governor and Lt. Governor of Illinois, Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngBruce Rauner & Evelyn Sanguinetti 40.1% 328,934
Kirk Dillard & Jil Tracy 37.2% 305,120
Bill Brady & Maria Rodriguez 15.1% 123,708
7.6% 61,948
Total Votes 819,710
Election Results via Illinois State Board of Elections.



  • Term limits:
“Let the local electorate be free to re-elect their own representative.”[10]
  • Right to work:
“The reality is that the Democrats aren’t likely to allow anything...Therefore his campaign “is not focused” on the issue right now, he said in November 2013. “I’m just not going to make that an issue...The makeup of the General Assembly is not going to allow it to happen.” “I’m not going down any conceptual stuff because the point is it is not going to be any part of my term in office.”[11]
  • Tax extension:
"I’m not going to be a governor who promises you I won’t look at revenue if they continue to drive this car off the cliff," Rutherford said, pointing out that "several billion dollars" will no longer be flowing into the state coffers if it is eliminated. "I don’t want it. I don’t want it. I don’t want it," he said. "But it may need to be on the table for negotiation of some form or another."[12]
  • Corporate incentives:
"My contention is I want all of these marquee companies to stay here in the state of Illinois, but we don’t need to have special legislation drafted for just one company... If you’re going to change the law because it’s good for one company, change the law so that it’s all applicable for those of that same type of company."[13]
  • Progressive tax:
"I don’t support the progressive income tax proposal...I would like to see the income tax rolled back." Rutherford continued: "I’m not going to pander or throw bombshells for political reasons. I don’t want this income tax increase to stay. … But let’s be honest, there may need to be some form of revenue on the table for negotiation. … You got to take this out of the hot searing spotlight and sit down, put everything on the table and negotiate what’s best for the long term of the state of Illinois."[14]
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.[15]

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.[16][17] 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.[18] Quinn said he wanted “a people person” to replace Simon, and ultimately settled on former Chicago public schools chief Paul Vallas.[19]

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."[19]

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.[20][21][22] In September 2013, after a promising first stretch of campaigning, Daley abruptly ended his campaign for the Democratic nomination.[23][22] 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.[24]

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.[25]


Bruce Rauner earned the endorsement of the Chicago Tribune prior to the general election.[26] 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.[27]

Third-party candidates

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.[28]

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.[29]

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.[30][31]

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.[32]

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.[33]

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.[33]


General election
All candidates

Governor of Illinois: All candidates
Poll Pat Quinn* (D) Bruce Rauner (R)Chad Grimm (L)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
We Ask America/Reboot Illinois
September 2, 2014
Global Strategy Group (D-DGA)
September 4-7, 2014
The Chicago Tribune/APC Research, Inc.
September 3-12, 2014
We Ask America/Reboot Illinois
October 6, 2014
Early & Often/We Ask America
October 8, 2014
Southern Illinois University
September 23-October 15, 2014
We Ask America
October 27-28, 2014
AVERAGES 43.75% 41.55% 5.49% 8.9% +/-3.31 1,090.71
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

**Incumbency is denoted by asterisk (*)

Quinn vs. Rauner

Governor of Illinois: Pat Quinn vs. Bruce Rauner
Poll Pat Quinn* (D) Bruce Rauner (R)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Rasmussen Reports
April 9-10, 2014
We Ask America/Reboot Illinois
June 10-11, 2014
We Ask America/Capitol Fax
July 8, 2014
Rasmussen Reports
July 29-30, 2014
Gravis Marketing/Human Events (R)
August 4-5, 2014
We Ask America/Chicago Sun Times
August 6, 2014
Garin-Hart-Yang (D)
August 12-14, 2014
New York Times/CBS/YouGov
August 18-September 2, 2014
New York Times/CBS News/YouGov
September 20-October 1, 2014
Rasmussen Reports
October 20-22, 2014
New York Times/CBS News/YouGov
October 16-23, 2014
AVERAGES 41.27% 46% 11.27% +/-3.26 1,709.64
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

**Incumbency is denoted by asterisk (*)

Republican Primary

Illinois Governor - 2014 Republican Primary
Poll Bill Brady Kirk DillardBruce RaunerDan RutherfordUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Capitol Fax/We AskAmericaPoll
June 20, 2013
November 26, 2013
Chicago Tribune/WGN
February 2-8, 2014
February 25, 2014
Chicago Tribune/WGN
March 1-5, 2014
March 4, 2014
March 11, 2014
March 16, 2014
AVERAGES 17.09% 17.48% 35.02% 11.83% 18.46% +/-3.17 1,068
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

**Due to the nature of the comparison, a placeholder figure of 0% is assigned to candidates not included in any given match-up round


Rutherford won his campaign for state treasurer in the November 2, 2010 election.[1]

Illinois State Treasurer General Election, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDan Rutherford 49.7% 1,811,293
     Democratic Robin Kelly 45.3% 1,650,244
     Green Scott K. Summers 3.2% 115,772
     Libertarian James Pauly 1.9% 68,803
Total Votes 3,646,112
Election Results via Follow The Money


On November 4, 2008, Republican Dan Rutherford won re-election to the Illinois State Senate District 53 receiving 90,199 votes.[34]

Illinois State Senate, District 53 General Election, 2008
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngDan Rutherford 100% 90,199
Total Votes 90,199

Campaign donors

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.[35]

Dan Rutherford's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Illinois Treasurer Not up for election $865,893
2010 Illinois State Senate District 53 Not up for election $0
2010 Illinois Treasurer Won $2,040,372
2008 Illinois State Senate District 53 Won $770,475
2006 Illinois State Senate District 53 Not up for election $0
2006 Illinois Secretary of State Defeated $1,566,837
2004 Illinois State Senate District 53 Won $912,585
2002 Illinois State Senate District 53 Won $774,396
2000 Illinois House Senate District 87 Won $345,389
1998 Illinois House Senate District 87 Won $295,159
1996 Illinois House Senate District 87 Won $258,107
Grand Total Raised $7,829,213
*Rutherford filed paperwork for two races in both 2006 and 2010.


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.[36] Click [show] for more information.

Recent news

Know more information about this profile?
Submit a bio

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.

Dan Rutherford News Feed

  • Loading...


Rutherford resides in Pontiac, Illinois.[37]

See also

External links

Suggest a link


  1. 1.0 1.1 1.2 1.3 "New Ill. GOP comptroller, treasurer: no blank checks for Dem gov’s borrowing," Illinois Statehouse News, November 10, 2010
  2. 2.0 2.1 The Southern, "Rutherford announces gov. campaign in Southern Illinois," June 2, 2013
  3. 3.0 3.1 Illinois Treasurer "Meet Treasurer Rutherford" Accessed July 28, 2012
  4. Illinois State Treasurer, "Meet Treasurer Rutherford," accessed September 15, 2012
  5. "Illinois treasurer says ‘no’ to more debt to pay state bills," By Benjamin Yount, Illinois Statehouse News, May 23, 2011
  6. Forbes, "Watchdog questions comptroller, treasurer raises," September 26, 2011
  7. "Dan Rutherford on Civil Unions," Illinois Statehouse News, December 1, 2010
  8. Dan Rutherford Illinois State Treasurer, "Dan Rutherford preparing for 2014 bid for Governor," accessed May 21, 2013
  9. Journal Gazette & Times-Courier, "Rutherford plans future run for governor," January 9, 2013
  10. Illinois News Network, "No agreement on term limits among gubernatorial candidates," October 8, 2013
  11. Illinois News Network, "GOP gubernatorial candidates differ on Right to Work," November 25, 2013
  12. Illinois News Network, "Tax extension not popular with candidates," February 10, 2014
  13. Illinois News Network, "Corporate incentives and the candidates," February 25, 2014
  14. Illinois News Network, "Gubernatorial candidates and the progressive tax," February 28, 2014
  15. Governing Politics, "2013-2014 Governor's Races: Who's Vulnerable?," December 11, 2012
  16. Chicago Tribune, "Simon will not run again for lieutenant governor," February 13, 2013
  17. Chicago Magazine, "What Happens After Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon Quits Pat Quinn’s Team," March 26, 2013
  18. The Chicago Tribune, "House votes to eliminate lieutenant governor post," April 12, 2013
  19. 19.0 19.1 CBS Local - Chicago, "2014 Governor Candidates To Choose Running Mates," August 24, 2013
  20. Capitol Fax, "This just in… Lisa Madigan announces re-election bid," July 15, 2013
  21. Governing, "William Daley Considering Bid for Illinois Governor," December 21, 2012
  22. 22.0 22.1, "Daley files paperwork for governor run," June 10, 2013
  23. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named dropout
  24. New Jersey Herald, "Daley: Exit from race doesn't mean I couldn't win," September 17, 2013
  25. St. Louis Today, "Illinois Gov. Quinn 2nd least popular incumbent going into 2014," April 9, 2013
  26. Chicago Tribune, "For governor: The Tribune endorses Bruce Rauner, to revive Illinois," October 10, 2014
  27. Chicago Sun-Times, "Chicago Tribune endorses Obama. First Democrat to get Trib presidential nod," October 17, 2008
  28. Ballot Access News, "Libertarian Party Statewide Slate Will Appear on Illinois Ballot," August 22, 2014
  29., "Capitol Fax/We Ask America Poll - Poll shows Rauner movement," July 8, 2013
  30. Crain's Chicago Business, "How Bruce Rauner won the GOP primary," March 19, 2014
  31. Peoria Public Radio, "How the self-funding of Rauner's campaign is impacting the race for Governor," March 12, 2014
  32. Chicago Tribune, "Election Calendar, Primary Results," last updated March 18, 2014
  33. 33.0 33.1 Ballot Access News, "Shockingly Low Turnout in Illinois Democratic Primary Suggests Many Democrats Voted in Republican Primary," March 20, 2014
  34. Illinois Senate election results for 2008
  35. Follow the Money, "Career fundraising for Dan Rutherford," accessed July 10, 2013
  36. Follow the, "Home," accessed February 17, 2015
  37. Project Vote Smart, "Treasurer Dan Rutherford's Biography," accessed August 28, 2013
Political offices
Preceded by
Alexi Giannoulias (D)
Illinois State Treasurer
Succeeded by
Preceded by
Illinois Senate District 53
Succeeded by
Shane Cultra (R)