Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

Bruce Rauner's Divorce Papers Offer New Perspective

Republican gubernatorial candidate was accused by his first wife of cheating

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Bruce Rauner's Divorce Papers Offer New Perspective

Bruce Rauner and Diana Rauner have been married for 20 years.

If you've seen his advertisement, you know that Republican candidate for Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner touts his strong marriage to a self-professed Democrat as a reason to vote him into office. The odd-couple routine he and Diana play with elicits a man of high character and patience. 

"I'm pragmatic," proclaims a smiling Bruce, to which Diana eye-rolls: "He's cheap."

Rauner's previous marriage, which ended in 1993, offers another perspective. 

Earlier this month Business Insider published a scoop on Rauner's '93 divorce. Rauner's ex-wife accused the Winnetka-based multi-millionaire of having an affair that led to the couple's 1993 divorce, according to Business Insider. The publication posted the court documents from the divorce proceedings.

Records show that Rauner's first wife, Elizabeth, whom he married in 1980, said she discovered her husband had a "paramour" in 1990 and he told her "despite his liaison with another woman, he still wanted to remain at home and attempt to reconcile the marriage."

She later discovered he’d been talking to a divorce attorney, according to court documents from a 1992 hearing, even as he said he wished to reconcile.

An affidavit filed in 1992 detailed Elizabeth's anxiety over the possibility of losing assets in divorce negotiations; Rauner allegedly told her he was buying a new home, and moving in "with his girlfriend."

The pair officially called it quits on July 29, 1993, after 13 years of marriage and three children. 

Rauner wed his second wife, Diana, with whom he worked at the Chicago investment firm GTCR, about 20 years ago, according to published reports. That would put their nuptials shortly after the 1993 divorce from Elizabeth.  Rauner was founding partner of GTCR and Diana was an associate.

Though Business Insider's report hit the Internet on May 5, the news has yet to gain traction among Chicago's mainstream media outlets including the two major newspapers, the Chicago Tribune and the Chicago Sun-Times.

A spokesman for Rauner declined to comment to Ward Room about the Business Insider story.

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