Illinois Gov. Rauner picks Linda Lingle as COO

In this photo provided by the Office of the Hawaii Governor, U.S. President Barack Obama poses for a photo with Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle during a visit to the White House in Washington, Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009. Lingle had her first face-to-face contacts with Hawaii-born President Barack Obama as the nation's governors visited the White House. The Republican governor's decision not to attend a meeting with Obama in late November created a bit of a stir in Hawaii when some Democrats portrayed it as a snub. (AP file Photo/Office of the Hawaii Governor)
In this photo provided by the Office of the Hawaii Governor, U.S. President Barack Obama poses for a photo with Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle during a visit to the White House in Washington, Sunday, Feb. 22, 2009. (AP file Photo/Office of the Hawaii Governor)

CHICAGO (AP) — Gov. Bruce Rauner is tapping former Hawaii Gov. Linda Lingle to serve in his administration.

A spokesman for Rauner confirmed Thursday that Lingle will be the Republican governor’s chief operating officer. The announcement comes during a preview of the State of the State address Rauner gave at the University of Chicago’s Booth School of Business.

Rauner describes the 61-year-old Lingle as a “superstar” former governor who served eight years in office.

Rauner spokesman Lance Trover says Lingle will start sometime in May or June.

Lingle was elected as Hawaii’s governor in 2002 and re-elected in 2006. She is a Republican who lost a bid for a U.S. Senate seat in 2012.

She was born in St. Louis and moved to Hawaii in 1975.

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