Home About Chat Users Issues Party Candidates Polling Firms Media News Polls Calendar Key Races United States President Senate House Governors International

New User Account
"A historical political resource." 
Email: Password:

  Rutherford, Dan
NameDan Rutherford
Address220 West Howard Street
Pontiac, Illinois 61764, United States
Website [Link]
Born May 26, 1955 (66 years)
ContributorNone Entered
Last ModifedRBH
May 11, 2017 09:50pm
InfoWhen examining his resume, one quickly realizes that there are very few elected officials in the state of Illinois with the professional and governmental experience of Senator Dan Rutherford.

An executive with a Fortune 500 Company and an accomplished State Legislator, The Champaign New Gazette says, “Dan Rutherford is right now what the Republican Party needs.”

A Legislative Career of Accomplishment

Dan Rutherford was first elected to the Illinois Senate in 2002 following a 10-year term in the House of Representatives, where he served as the Assistant Republican Leader. In the Senate, he serves as the ranking Republican for the Financial Institutions Committee and is a member of the Environment & Energy Committee. Senator Rutherford also serves on the bi-partisan Joint Committee on Administrative Rules.

As a lawmaker, Senator Dan Rutherford has sponsored and directed legislation which fundamentally changed the formula for reimbursing nursing homes for care of our treasured elderly. The new system base rates on the medical needs of the resident, rather than just their geographic location in the state.

Senator Rutherford’s legislative efforts have brought many accolades, including being named Legislator of the Year multiple times and selected as an outstanding legislator by numerous organizations.

The Aurora Beacon News recently noted that “while his voting record in Springfield draws high marks with conservative [groups], he also has a decided independent streak.”

A History of Involvement

Senator Rutherford began his career as a Legislative Assistant in Springfield following his graduation from Illinois State University, where he served as Student Body President.

In the GOP Primary of 1980, the 24 year old Rutherford coordinated a Congressional District for Governor Ronald Reagan’s campaign. Dan reminisces of going to O’Hare airport and picking up Nancy Reagan, with one security person from the California State Police, and driving her to events in northern Illinois and meeting Ronald Reagan and giving him briefing papers when he came to the state.

Putting together one of the best Congressional area organizations in the state, Dan caught the eye of the Reagan National Campaign and was tapped to be the state-wide Executive Director of Illinois for the General Election. Illinois was the bellwether state and where Illinois went, so would the Nation. Illinois delivered for the President-elect and Rutherford was affirmed a Republican Star on the rise.

Reagan & Rutherford

As the switch from the Carter White House to the Reagan White House was beginning, Dan was offered a position on the Presidential Transition Team. Within a day of the Reagan offer, he received a call from Governor Jim Thompson offering a position on his staff in Illinois. This became a crucial crossroad for the young politician’s future.

Dan opted to stay in Illinois. It was a hard choice, one he made and did not later question. “I know it was the right decision; being back in Illinois afforded me the opportunity to eventually join the ServiceMaster Company and serve in the Legislature,” reflected the Senator.

Rutherford served as a liaison between the Thompson Administration and the Reagan White House for Executive Branch appointments, before being tapped to manage the statewide campaign of Illinois Attorney General, Ty Fahner. After the election, Dan returned to the Thompson Administration, where for three years he was head of the International Business Division of the Illinois Department of Commerce, overseeing trade and promotions offices in Brussels, Hong Kong and Sao Paulo before spearheading the opening of the offices in Osaka and Shenyang. During that time, Rutherford worked for two years with the team to locate Mitsubishi Motors of Japan to the US, shuttling to that country an average of every other month. The motor company did locate in Illinois, employing thousands of people.

Rutherford: The Business Executive

Dan Rutherford is a graduate of Illinois State University with a Bachelor's Degree in Business Administration.

While on a business trip to Japan in 1984, Dan became familiar with the ServiceMaster Company and a year later joined the company. The company headquarters is in DuPage County, Downers Grove, Illinois.

Rutherford eventually became responsible for expansion of the company’s businesses internationally, licensing services in Chile, Brazil, Honduras, Japan, Hong Kong, Malaysia, Guam, Venezuela, South Africa, Spain, Czechoslovakia, Indonesia, Panama, Italy, Mexico and the Philippines. ServiceMaster is a family of service companies with trade names such as ServiceMaster clean, Terminix, Tru-Green Chem Lawn, Merry Maids, American Home Shield and Rescue Rooter.

On the Lighter side of Dan: An Adventurer

As a young person, Dan enjoyed camping, fishing and adventure. In high school he was a foreign exchange student to Barbados, after graduating college he back packed across Europe and in his mid twenties he took a few months to lead Safaris in Kenya.

He learned to sail boats and crewed for numerous Chicago to Mackinaw Island Races, competed in regattas off of Melbourne and cruised the southern coast of Australia.

Before his 30th birthday, Dan joined a small group of adventurers and the 12 of them took 3 months crossing Africa in their diesel Bedford truck; camping, bathing in creeks, open fire meals, using sand mats to cross the Sahara and making sure not to drink from wells that were poisoned because of the war with Libya. He started in Algeria and went south through Niger, Chad, Cameroon, Central Africa Republic, Zaire and Burundi.

Having been on all the continents of the world, but one, Dan had to figure out how to get to Antarctica before his 40th birthday. A lot of luck, a few connections and he found himself in the Falkland Islands meeting a Russian Icebreaker with a group of naturalists taking a number of weeks to explore the continent. The former Commander of Operation Deep Freeze was a part of the group as were other scientists. Whales accompanied the ship and the breaker crushed the ice when needed. Using one of the two helicopters on board, Dan spent part of Christmas floating on tabular iceberg in Antarctic Sound.

After skydiving in college and learning to fly in younger years, Dan decided to master scuba diving. He is an Advanced Certified Diver, logging well over 100 dives. His most recent trip to Saba Island. Having dove the Turks & Caicos, Bali, Mozambique, Cape Town and Apo Island, he feels he is well prepared for the sharks that infest politics today!



Title Purchase Contributor

Start Date End Date Type Title Contributor

Date Category Headline Article Contributor

Importance? 0.00000 Average


  03/18/2014 IL Governor - R Primary Lost 7.56% (-32.57%)
  11/02/2010 IL Treasurer Won 49.68% (+4.42%)
  02/02/2010 IL Treasurer - R Primary Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  11/04/2008 IL State Senate 53 Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  02/05/2008 IL State Senate 53 - R Primary Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  11/07/2006 IL Secretary of State Lost 33.02% (-29.80%)
  03/21/2006 IL Secretary of State - R Primary Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  11/02/2004 IL State Senate 53 Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  03/16/2004 IL State Senate 53 - R Primary Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  11/05/2002 IL State Senate 53 Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  03/19/2002 IL State Senate 53 - R Primary Won 57.14% (+14.27%)
  11/07/2000 IL State House 087 Won 74.77% (+49.54%)
  11/03/1998 IL State House 087 Won 99.97% (+99.93%)
  11/05/1996 IL State House 087 Won 100.00% (+100.00%)
  11/08/1994 IL State House 087 Won 71.99% (+43.99%)
  11/03/1992 IL State House 087 Won 50.92% (+1.85%)
IL US President - R Primary - Mar 20, 2012 R Mitt Romney