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Festivities begin for Rauner inauguration as governor

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Gov. Bruce Rauner.

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (AP) _ Festivities are beginning for the inauguration of Bruce Rauner as the first Republican to run Illinois since George Ryan left office more than a decade ago.

Wearing his trademark sport shirt and khakis, Rauner greeted visitors Sunday afternoon in the rotunda of the Abraham Lincoln Museum in Springfield before his wife, Diana, read the book “Mr. Lincoln’s Whiskers” by Karen Winnick to children.

Later, he and his wife planned to attend a private, $1,000-a-plate reception and dinner at the Capitol.

Rauner’s team also is hosting an “Illinois is Back” exposition at the Prairie Capital Convention Center on Sunday and Monday to showcase Illinois businesses, tourist attractions and universities.

Rauner and other officeholders will be sworn into office on Monday, followed by an inaugural concert featuring country singer Toby Keith in the evening.