Bruce Rauner

Rauner Participates in Inaugural Events Across State Before Main Event

Governor-Elect Bruce Rauner and his wife helped hand out free meals at the Preston Bradley Center in Chicago's Uptown neighborhood Sunday morning on the eve of his inauguration. The event was part of a series of inaugural events that took place around the state before Rauner becomes the new governor on Monday. 

As Rauner prepares to take office, he faced some tough questions about recent decisions, including his appointment of former State Senator and Rev. James Meeks to head the Illinois Board of Education.

"He thinks outside the box," Rauner said. "He's a strong, respected leader. He's a democrat. I will work with democrats."

By Sunday afternoon, the focus had shifted to Springfield and the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library and Museum where people lined up for an event called "Serving Illinois Families."

Sunday and Monday are, in great part, about parties and fun as well as something you don't see in Springfield very often -- harmony. On Sunday, that came in the form of a bipartisan band of legislators.

State Senator Don Harmon of Oak Park, a democrat, and State Representative Mike Tryon of Crystal Lake, a republican, are part of the opening act at Monday night's inaugural party.  The third member of the group is Danville republican Chad Hayes. Their group is the Boat Drink Caucus, a Jimmy Buffett cover band.

"We've had an opportunity as legislators to do a lot of things we wouldn't ordinarily do, like putting a bi-partisan band that plays Jimmy Buffett," Tryon said.

Sunday night will see parties galore, including an inaugural reception and dinner hosted by Rauner and his wife. Then on Monday, the real work begins.

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