Gary Rabine was born in 1957 and grew up in the northern Illinois city of Schaumburg. He attended Palatine High School, graduating in 1975. After high school, Rabine began studying at Harper College but did not complete a degree.
In 1978, Rabine and his father founded Rabine Group, a paving company focused on commercial properties. Rabine started out doing small sealcoating jobs and grew the company into one of the largest pavement maintenance firms in the Midwest. He serves as chairman and CEO of Rabine Group today.
Outside of his own business, Rabine got involved with the Associated General Contractors of Illinois trade association. He sat on the group’s board and served a term as chairman.
Entry Into Politics
Local Government Positions
Rabine’s first foray into elected office came in 2009 when he won a seat on the Schaumburg Township District Library Board of Trustees. He served on the library board for eight years.
In 2017, Rabine set his sights on the office of Schaumburg Township Supervisor. He ran on a platform of eliminating wasteful spending and keeping taxes low. Rabine defeated Democrat Skip Desjardin by a 14-point margin.
2018 Illinois Treasurer bid
In 2018, Rabine launched a campaign for Illinois Treasurer in the Republican primary. He touted his business experience and promise to bring fiscal responsibility to the office. However, Rabine lost the nomination to DuPage County Auditor Bob Grogan.
2022 Illinois Governor run
Four years later, Rabine decided to try for a bigger statewide office. He announced his candidacy for the Republican nomination for Governor of Illinois in 2021. Rabine vowed to challenge incumbent Democrat J.B. Pritzker and fix the state’s finances.
2022 Gubernatorial Campaign
Rabine faced a crowded field in the June 2022 Republican gubernatorial primary. His main opponents were state Senator Darren Bailey, former state Senator Paul Schimpf, businessman Jesse Sullivan, and Aurora Mayor Richard Irvin.
Rabine ran as an outsider and conservative reformer. He called the other candidates members of the “Springfield swamp.” Rabine pledged to lower taxes, cut wasteful spending, and stand up for small businesses.
In the end, Rabine finished fourth in the primary with just 6.5% of the vote. Darren Bailey won the nomination with 57% support.
Campaign Themes and Messaging
Rabine’s campaign revolved around his experience as a businessman, not a politician. Some of his main messages included:
- Lowering the tax burden on Illinois residents and businesses
- Reducing regulations and bureaucracy
- Reigning in state spending and balancing the budget
- Opposing pandemic mandates and shutdowns
- Supporting law enforcement and gun rights
Rabine tried to connect with working class voters by highlighting his humble roots rather than the wealth he accumulated.
Rabine’s endorsements included the Illinois Fraternal Order of Police, former Governor Jim Edgar, and conservative activist Jack Roeser. However, he failed to garner support from major Republican figures. His outsider status ended up being a liability.
As a fiscal conservative, Rabine campaigned heavily on cutting taxes, reducing spending, and reforming the state’s finances. He supported amending the state constitution to allow for a graduated income tax rather than a flat tax. Rabine also wanted to freeze property taxes and opposed new user fees or taxes on retirement income.
Socially, Rabine took traditional conservative stances on issues like abortion and gun rights. He called himself “100% pro-life” and favored banning abortions except for in cases of rape, incest, or maternal health. On guns, Rabine opposed bans on assault weapons and supported concealed carry.
Rabine harshly criticized Governor Pritzker’s response to the COVID-19 pandemic. He opposed mask and vaccine mandates and said shutdowns of businesses and churches went too far. Rabine vowed to lift the mandates if elected governor.
Family and Residence
Gary Rabine has been married to his wife Nina since 1990. Together they have two adult children. Rabine resides in Bull Valley, Illinois located in McHenry County.
Hobbies and Interests
In his free time, Rabine enjoys golfing, boating, and spending time with his family. He has said that his Catholic faith is very important to him. Rabine also continues to run his pavement company and stay involved in the industry.
In the end, Gary Rabine’s bid to become Governor of Illinois fell short in 2022. While he brought passion and strong conservative credentials, Rabine could not overcome his lack of name recognition or trouble raising funds. However, at only 65 years old, Rabine may look to run for public office again in the future. His business background and political experience could be assets. Regardless, Rabine will continue advocating for fiscally and socially conservative policies in Illinois.
Q: What offices has Gary Rabine run for?
A: Rabine has run for Schaumburg Township Supervisor, Illinois Treasurer, and Illinois Governor as a Republican. He won the Schaumburg Township race but lost his statewide bids.
Q: What were some of Rabine’s main campaign platforms?
A: As a fiscal conservative, Rabine campaigned on lowering taxes, cutting spending, and balancing the state budget. He also opposed COVID-19 mandates and supported gun rights and pro-life policies.
Q: How did Rabine perform in the 2022 IL GOP gubernatorial primary?
A: Rabine finished fourth out of six candidates, capturing just 6.5% of the primary vote. The nomination went to Darren Bailey.
Q: What is Gary Rabine’s current job?
A: Rabine is the founder, chairman, and CEO of the Rabine Group, a large paving and pavement maintenance company based in Illinois.
Q: Where did Gary Rabine grow up?
A: Rabine was born and raised in Schaumburg, Illinois. He has lived most of his life in the northern suburbs of Chicago.