Rafael Rivadeneira of Elmhurst Announces Run for DuPage County Board
The board "needs independent, fiscal conservatives," he said.
Rafael Rivadeneira of Elmhurst has announced he will run for the DuPage County Board in District 2.
Rivadeneira, a Republican, is no stranger to politics.
In 2010, he ran for the 41st House District seat left vacant when Republican Bob Biggins of Elmhurst retired. He garnered about 18 percent of the vote, coming in third behind DuPage County Board member Brien Sheahan and then-Elmhurst Alderman Chris Nybo, who won the race.
His platform is basically the same as it was then: smaller government, less waste, lower taxes. While DuPage County Board Chairman Dan Cronin has done a good job of keeping the county financially sound, there is still more work that needs to be done, Rivadeneira said.
"We are not in a dire situation, like the state of Illinois," he said. "But there are definitely things I would bring up, like the pay issue for board members. This is a part-time job. They are compensated like they are full-time employees—with benefits. In terms of the economy we're in, we really have to look at everything."
Rivadeneira, who is president of the Republican National Hispanic Assembly of Illinois, said he embraces the principles of the Tea Party, including smaller government, less taxation and more personal responsibility for individuals. Some have criticized him for his support of the movement.
"They can label me all they want," the 40-year-old said. "I embrace it. That doesn't mean I embrace every single person that might be involved in the Tea Party movement. What I do embrace are the principles. I think that's where we need to go."
In making government smaller, politicians need to look at waste, he said.
"A lot of Republicans talk about holding the line on taxes," he said. "I really think we have to not just hold the line on taxes, but reduce spending. In my last race, I differentiated myself by laying out specific things we should be looking at in terms of cutting."
Rivadeneira decided to run after County Board member Jeff Redick surprised many this fall by announcing he would not run for re-election.
Rivadeneira said he was encouraged to run by friends and Republican leaders, including former County Board member Pat O'Shea, and Adam Andrzejewski, 2010 gubernatorial primary candidate and founder of citizen watchdog group, For the Good of Illinois.
"Also, state Sen. Kirk Dillard was upbeat when I talked to him about the race, and he said he'd counsel me if I ran," Rivadeneira said.
Other potential candidates for District 2 include 2010 College of DuPage Board candidate and Downers Grove resident Jim Long and Lisle Township Republican Chairman Mike Loftus.
Rivadeneira, president of Epiphany Portfolios, a money management firm, said he considers himself to be a front-runner in the race because he has developed name recognition, is clear about what he stands for and has broad support.
"I am who I am," he said. "People appreciate my candidness and the realness of trying to run a campaign based on issues and not image or how much political backing you might have in terms of the power structure.
"We need to have some independent, fiscal conservatives on the board."
The General Primary Election will be held Tuesday, March 20.