CHICAGO (Oct. 13, 2017) — Gov. Bruce Rauner names Patty Schuh as his deputy chief of staff for communications. A number of long-time Capitol hands, wondered why Gov Rauner didn’t select someone of Schuh’s ability when he first became governor in 2015.
For a governor who had never held office before, nor was plugged in to the Capitol environment, the governor’s initial selection of staff for communications were mostly unknowns, to even veteran reporters.
And that lack of experience took its toll on the ability of the Rauner administration to effectively market its message, or communicate its policy positions. Inside the Capitol, a number of lawmakers — from both parties — would grumble about working with the Rauner people.
An actual quote, that could be attributed to many over the last three years was, “Why the heck didn’t he pick someone like Patty Schuh?” [or words to that effect].
Well, now he has.
“Patty may be the most well established and politically astute communicator in Illinois government,” Rauner said. “As the leader of our team, she will add unparalleled experience in Illinois politics and media to our communication. I have known her for many years and I am excited that she has decided to join our effort.”
In the wake of a virtual meltdown of the Governor’s staff over the last three months, with the Governor now on his third Chief of Staff since the end of June.
It’s an open question whether Schuh could have provided the direction to Rauner that would have avoided the policy directions the Governor’s taken this summer that’s torn the Republican party into two camps — the pro-Rauner Republicans, and those who now feel he’s a Republican Judas, for having signed into law a bill that allows state money to pay for abortions. But at the very least, someone with Schuh’s experience could have handled such explosive issues in a more professional manner.
With the Republican Party now engaged in its own civil war, with Conservatives looking to find a candidate to run against Rauner in the primary, the selection of a veteran hand, like Patty Schuh, who brings the administration a wealth of contacts with reporters across the state, as well as lawmakers, and who has a temperament to weather the political storms with the calm of a one who’s been through many a maelstrom in the past, the Rauner administration may finally find the stability its lacked since taking office in 2015.
“I’m honored to put my experience to work in the Office of the Governor. I’m grateful to Gov. Rauner for the opportunity and look forward to working with his administration to make the changes Illinois needs to move forward,” Schuh said
Schuh will join the governor’s office next week. She brings more than 30 years of experience working with the Illinois General Assembly.
Schuh has the unusual distinction of having served as spokesman and press secretary for four Republican leaders – Senate President James “Pate” Philip and Senate Republican Leaders Frank Watson, Christine Radogno and Bill Brady.