PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — At the end of March, Conservative businessman Gary Rabine announced his candidacy for governor of Illinois.
“After months of consideration and prayer, and receiving encouragement from great people all across the state of Illinois, I have decided to enter the race for governor with a goal to put Illinois on a winning path again. Our state is at a crossroads, do we want to continue down the path of out-of-control taxes, record high crime, and people leaving our state because they cannot afford to their lives? Or do we want to have Illinois be a great state, where myself and so many others achieved the American Dream?” Rabine said that day.
Wednesday morning, Rabine spoke to Matt Sheehan during On the Record about his platform and why he said he is the right fit for governor, and what sets him apart from the other Republican lawmakers.
“I’ve been inspired to run, I have my business in Illinois that serves customers across the country. I’ve realized, over the past 14 years Illinois has been gone from being the best place in the middle of the country to find a job, start a business, to today being the worst,” Rabine said.
Question: When you announced your candidacy you said you’d bring back tens of thousands of jobs and crush property taxes. How do you plan to do that in Illinois which is known to many as an anti-business State?
“I call it an anti-opportunity state,” Rabine said. “Businesses will go where they’re treated best, money will go where its treated best. The sad part of that, money and the wealthy will leave. The big opportunistic businesses will not be in Illinois creating jobs. Opportunity leaves and value leaves as we crush job creation.”
Rabine said despite the pandemic, Illinois is losing 50,000 jobs a year.
“That’s sickening, that’s terrible. We need to create 50,000-100,000 jobs a year. I’m confident we can do that. We look at poor regulation reform over the last 10-15 years that have created the highest cost to business and creating jobs than any state in the country. That needs to be changed,” Rabine said.
“We’re the highest in the country in cumulative tax. But the one that’s really killing value from all of us in Illinois and stealing from the net worth in property owners in Illinois, is property tax,” Rabine said, saying we are 150-200% higher than the average property tax.
“That’s not taxation anymore, that’s tax theft,” Rabine said.
Rabine said he has a tax team to address property taxes, and that he plans to create 50,000 jobs by 2024 and to reduce property taxes by 50% across the state.
Rabine said he wants Illinois to become a place where families can live and thrive.
“I can’t look at my kids today, or my grandkids, and tell them that this is the place they should raise a family,” Rabine said. “It’s not the best place, it’s the worst. It embarrasses me to say that. This is my home. I plan on staying here. We have 11 companies here in Illinois today, they’re companies that thrive because we differentiate, but overall, over half our business would be better off being somewhere else.”
QUESTION: Currently there are three Republican candidates vying for the Governor’s spot. What sets you apart from the other candidates?
“The last 20 years I’ve worked how to be a strong entrepreneur,” Rabine said. “I’ve got a view of what it takes to create opportunity like we don’t in Illinois. I know what the best States are doing to attract opportunity and job creation, and what the worst States are doing to push jobs away from their States.”
Rabine said common-sense policy that creates opportunity and knowing what good taxation is will position him stronger than others.
QUESTION: When thinking of constructing a budget, what are the main items you’d focus spending money on?
“First, we need to recognize we are the largest government in the country per capita. We have the largest debt in the country per capita, we have a spending problem. We have to stop worrying about what we’re spending money on, and we got to start looking at what we’re going to do to tighten the belt.”
Rabine said by trying to spend its way out of problems, the state creates more problems.
“We’re the most expensive state in the country per capita. That’s not right, that’s not fair to the taxpayers of Illinois,” Rabine said. “Our urban environment is suffering today, how do we incentivize people to want to build businesses back in Illinois? How do we create safety in our cities? How do we put education in the hands of parents and students and not the teachers unions? How do we treat our police fairly? Fire the bad police and promote the good ones.”
Other Republican candidates for governor are State Sen. Darren Bailey (R-Xenia), who Sheehan interviewed on March 29, and Former State Sen. Paul Schimpf on March 3.
Sheehan has reached out to Gov. J.B. Pritzker (D-IL) to speak and has not heard back.