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Otto Engineering founder, conservative leader dies

CARPENTERSVILLE – Otto Engineering founder and conservative leader Jack Roeser died Friday at 90 years old.

Roeser, whose engineering company operates more than 250,000 feet of manufacturing space on opposite banks of the Fox River, became as well known in conservative politics as he was for innovation.

In 1994, Roeser received 26 percent of the primary vote in a losing bid to secure the Republican nomination for governor. He remained heavily involved in politics throughout his life as founder of the Family Taxpayers Foundation and the Republican Renaissance PAC.

His platform revolved around education reform, anti-abortion policies and gun rights among other conservative causes.

Gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner, who received support from Roeser, released a statement praising Roeser for his leadership and philanthropy.

"Jack was a veteran and patriot, built a respected company and used his business success to give back to the community," Rauner said in the statement. "He was always willing to stand up for what he believed in and impacted many lives in a positive way."

Roeser was a KPMG Peat Marwick LLP’s “High Tech Entrepreneur of the Year” in Illinois and an outstanding University of Illinois alumnus. He held more than 50 patents in electrical, mechanical, machiner and marine products.

His company has more than 500 employees and does more than $80 million in annual sales.

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