Rauner names contributor to preservation agency

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner has appointed a long-time businessman and major Republican contributor to chair of the Illinois Historic Preservation Agency Board of Trustees.

Rauner announced Friday that James Bruner of Jacksonville will take over the board of the agency the governor has attempted to disband.

Bruner is president of United Contractors Midwest, an asphalt paving company.

State records indicate Bruner will serve until January — the remainder of current Democratic chairwoman Sonia Fischer’s term. A Rauner spokeswoman did not respond to a request to explain the switch.

The governor named three others as trustees.

Rauner and Democrats in the Legislature were close to removing the Abraham Lincoln Presidential Library from preservation agency oversight in May and folding the agency into another state department, but those talks collapsed.