United States

Governor Bruce Rauner Announces New Chief of Staff

There have been whispers for weeks, but on Friday it became official - Governor Bruce Rauner has a new chief of staff.

Public Safety Director Rodger Heaton has been chosen as Rauner's new Chief of Staff following the resignation of Kristina Rasmussen, the governor's office announced. 

Heaton, a former U.S. Attorney for the Central District of Illinois and administrative judge, will be Rauner's third Chief of Staff, just in time for the upcoming veto session in Springfield.

According to one GOP source, Heaton is "a great pick. He knows a lot of lawmakers and will add to the Rauner staff."

Rasmussen was hired in early July after the income tax increase was approved. She has ties to the conservative Illinois Policy Institute.

According to sources, Rasmussen was visibly upset at a news conference last week when Rauner announced his decision to sign the abortion bill, which allowed state health insurance and Medicaid coverage for abortions. 

The measure also removed language in Illinois law that states a desire to criminalize abortion if a 1973 U.S. Supreme Court ruling legalizing the procedure is overturned. Democrats initially sold the bill as a means of keeping abortion legal if Roe v. Wade were dumped.

It's the latest in what has been a growing staff shake-up for Rauner. 

Six weeks ago several members of Rauner's press staff, who were on the job for less than a month, were either fired or resigned after a controversial email detailing "as a white man" response to a political cartoon.

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