Bill Brady (Illinois senator)

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Bill Brady
Bill Brady.jpg
Illinois State Senate District 44
In office
2002 - Present
Term ends
January 11, 2017
Years in position 13
Assistant Minority Leader
Base salary$67,836/year
Per diem$111/day
Elections and appointments
Last electionMarch 18, 2014
Next generalNovember 8, 2016
Term limitsN/A
Prior offices
Illinois House of Representatives
1993 - 2000
Bachelor'sIllinois Wesleyan University (1983)
Date of birthMay 15, 1961
Place of birthBloomington, Illinois
Office website
Personal website
Campaign website
Bill Brady campaign logo
Bill Brady (b. May 15, 1961, in Bloomington, Illinois) is a Republican member of the Illinois State Senate, representing District 44. He was first elected to the chamber in 2002. He previously served in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1993 to 2000.

On June 27, 2013, Brady launched his third bid for election as Governor of Illinois.[1][2] He ran on a ticket with Maria Rodriguez in the March 18 primary election and lost the Republican nomination to Bruce Rauner.[3] [4]

Brady earned his Bachelor's in Political Science and Finance from Illinois Wesleyan in 1983. His professional experience includes working for his family's construction business.

Committee assignments


At the beginning of the 2013 legislative session, Brady served on the following committees:

Illinois Committee Assignments, 2013
Agriculture and Conservation
Committee of the Whole
Insurance, Minority Spokesperson
State Government & Veterans Affairs
Legislative Audit Commission


In the 2011-2012 legislative session, Brady served on these committees:


In the 2009-2010 legislative session, Brady served on these committees:[5]



See also: Illinois gubernatorial election, 2014

Brady ran for election as Illinois Governor in 2014. Brady sought the Republican nomination in the primary election on March 18, 2014 alongside his lieutenant gubernatorial running mate, Maria Rodriguez.[4]

Governor and Lt. Governor of Illinois, Republican Primary, 2014
Candidate Vote % Votes
Green check mark transparent.pngBruce Rauner & Evelyn Sanguinetti 40.1% 328,934
Kirk Dillard & Jil Tracy 37.2% 305,120
Bill Brady & Maria Rodriguez 15.1% 123,708
Dan Rutherford & Steve Kim 7.6% 61,948
Total Votes 819,710
Election Results via Illinois State Board of Elections.



  • Term limits:
Brady said he is “quite amenable to term limits” on the entire General Assembly, but believes “it’s not realistic to put term limits on [only] legislative leaders.”[6]
  • Tax extension:
."..states that do not have an income tax are the states that are most fiscally sound and solvent."[7]
  • Corporate incentives:
"Incentives have to be a win-win proposition. We have to make sure they’re a win for the state of Illinois as taxpayers and a win for the communities and workers."[8]
  • Progressive tax:
"There’s probably nothing more important right now than delivering on that tax cut,” he said at the Republican gubernatorial debate held in February in Springfield’s Hoogland Center. “It’s the only way we’re going to rebuild our economy."[9]
  • School choice:
“I have actually introduced a bill that would have given school choice to students and parents of schools that close in Chicago." When asked if he supported expanding the school choice pilot programs into other regions besides Chicago, Brady said, "Right now, I’m for those [in Chicago]. But I’m an advocate of school choice, yes." "I’ve always been a sponsor for big tuition tax credits for those who choose to send their children to private schools, and I’ve always been for and supported no caps on charter schools."[10]
Challenges for Gov. Quinn

Current incumbent Pat Quinn, a Democrat who went from lieutenant governor to governor following Rod Blagojevich's 2009 impeachment, won a full term in 2010 and lost his bid for re-election in 2014 to Republican Bruce Rauner. According to multiple outside ratings, Quinn was among the most vulnerable governors in the 2014 electoral cycle.[11]

Incumbent Lt. Gov Sheila Simon (D) announced in February 2013 that she would not run for re-election in 2014 alongside Quinn, her 2010 running mate. Simon said she wanted to seek a new office that would allow her to have a "greater impact," and later declared her candidacy for state comptroller.[12][13] Simon's thinly veiled swipe at the office's impact was followed shortly thereafter by the Illinois House of Representatives' approval of a proposal seeking to eliminate the position of lieutenant governor altogether by constitutional amendment, effective after the 2018 election. In order for the measure to be passed, it would need the approval of both the State Senate and Illinois voters.[14] Quinn said he wanted “a people person” to replace Simon, and ultimately settled on former Chicago public schools chief Paul Vallas.[15]

The 2014 electoral cycle marked the first time in Illinois history that candidates for the offices of governor and lieutenant governor ran on a single ticket in the primary election phase. Spurred by the 2010 election fiasco when Democratic nominee for lieutenant governor Scott Lee Cohen had to drop out of the race after being arrested on charges of steroid use and domestic battery, the new joint ticket rule intended to increase the importance of the lieutenant governor based on its partnership with the governor. In theory, allowing gubernatorial candidates to handpick their running mates for the primary would cause campaigns to "better define their priorities for voters and cover more ground as election season gets underway."[15]

As of May 2015, Illinois is one of 7 Democratic state government trifectas. In such a blue state, it was expected that Quinn's biggest threat in 2014 would come from a fellow Democrat. The potential primary challenges for Quinn included William "Bill" Daley, a past U.S. Commerce Secretary and White House chief of staff, and attorney general Lisa Madigan. Quinn dodged both bullets as both potential challengers removed themselves from contention by September 2013. Madigan dropped her long anticipated bid in June 2013 in order to seek another term as attorney general.[16][17][18] In September 2013, after a promising first stretch of campaigning, Daley abruptly ended his campaign for the Democratic nomination.[19][18] Called "a member of Chicago's first political family," for his relation to two of Chicago's longest-reigning mayors, Daley's departure in particular was a coup for Quinn, whose apparently bleak re-election prospects improved markedly in his absence.[20]

Quinn was the fifth out of a total of 46 previous Illinois lieutenant governors to have succeeded to the governorship mid-term. As governor, Quinn emphasized improving the state government's ethical standards and protecting public-sector labor unions. His tenure was marred by steep, deeply unpopular budget cuts and tax increases stemming from long-term state debt among other issues that contributed to his status among the least popular governors facing re-election in 2014.[21]


Bruce Rauner earned the endorsement of the Chicago Tribune prior to the general election.[22] The Chicago Tribune traditionally endorses Republican candidates for statewide and national office, with the notable exception of the paper's endorsement for Barack Obama (D) in the 2008 presidential election.[23]

Third-party candidates

Quinn and Rauner ran against Libertarian candidate Chad Grimm. There were three other third party tickets in race, led by Michael Oberline (Constitution) Scott Summers (Green) and Michael Hawkins (Independent), until an August 22 petition challenge ruling by the Illinois State Board of Elections disqualified their respective parties from appearing on the November 4 ballot. It was the first time in a decade that the Libertarian Party, which survived the signature challenge, was the only minor party to compete for Illinois statewide office in the general election.[24]

Primary review, cross-party vote phenomenon

On September 3, 2013, individuals aiming to qualify for a slot on the March 2014 primary ballot began gathering signatures. The filing period for major party primary candidates ended on December 2, 2013, with only one Democrat, Tio Hardiman, filing to go up against Quinn. On the Republican end, candidates included state Sens. Bill Brady and Kirk Dillard, state treasurer Dan Rutherford and venture capitalist Bruce Rauner. Early polls showed Rutherford as the front-runner for the GOP nomination, but Rauner rocketed ahead of the pack by November 2013 and maintained a 15-point average lead up to the March primary, which he won.[25]

A newcomer to politics, Rauner achieved the name recognition he needed to overcome his more established opponents with the help of massive campaign spending totaling nearly $14 million, including $6 million of his own money—the highest amount a candidate has ever spent on his own primary campaign for governor in Illinois.[26][27]

Unofficial results from the March 18 primaries revealed some steep deviations from typical voting behaviors recorded in past elections. Based on the breakdown of votes in the Republican and Democratic gubernatorial primaries provided by the Chicago Tribune on election night, Ballot Access News analyzed what appeared to be a spectacularly low turnout of Democratic voters (438,112 votes) in the party's nominally contested primary. They detected that hundreds of thousands of Democratic voters must have taken advantage of the state's mixed-hybrid primary system to vote the Republican ballot instead of their own. Under Illinois' primary rules, voters can change parties each year but must declare a party affiliation at the polls. Depending on which party is chosen, the voter will then be counted as registered for that party. Voters may change party affiliation at polls or caucus.[28]

The mass cross-over by Democrats was linked to one specific issue highlighted in this year's GOP governor's race: government employee unions. Most of the Democrats who participated in the Republican primary did so in order to ensure Kirk Dillard, who sided with the unions in the state senate, would lose to Bruce Rauner, who promised to curtail union influence.[29]

In Illinois, the last time more votes were cast in the Republican than the Democratic gubernatorial primary was 1986; not since the 1940s had so few votes been cast in a Democratic gubernatorial primary election. Compared to the last five Illinois gubernatorial elections, there was no significant spike in Republican votes in 2014, indicating the trend reversal was caused by a tremendous drop in Democratic gubernatorial primary votes cast.[29]


General election
All candidates

Governor of Illinois: All candidates
Poll Pat Quinn* (D) Bruce Rauner (R)Chad Grimm (L)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
We Ask America/Reboot Illinois
September 2, 2014
Global Strategy Group (D-DGA)
September 4-7, 2014
The Chicago Tribune/APC Research, Inc.
September 3-12, 2014
We Ask America/Reboot Illinois
October 6, 2014
Early & Often/We Ask America
October 8, 2014
Southern Illinois University
September 23-October 15, 2014
We Ask America
October 27-28, 2014
AVERAGES 43.75% 41.55% 5.49% 8.9% +/-3.31 1,090.71
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

**Incumbency is denoted by asterisk (*)

Quinn vs. Rauner

Governor of Illinois: Pat Quinn vs. Bruce Rauner
Poll Pat Quinn* (D) Bruce Rauner (R)UndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Rasmussen Reports
April 9-10, 2014
We Ask America/Reboot Illinois
June 10-11, 2014
We Ask America/Capitol Fax
July 8, 2014
Rasmussen Reports
July 29-30, 2014
Gravis Marketing/Human Events (R)
August 4-5, 2014
We Ask America/Chicago Sun Times
August 6, 2014
Garin-Hart-Yang (D)
August 12-14, 2014
New York Times/CBS/YouGov
August 18-September 2, 2014
New York Times/CBS News/YouGov
September 20-October 1, 2014
Rasmussen Reports
October 20-22, 2014
New York Times/CBS News/YouGov
October 16-23, 2014
AVERAGES 41.27% 46% 11.27% +/-3.26 1,709.64
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

**Incumbency is denoted by asterisk (*)

Republican Primary

Illinois Governor - 2014 Republican Primary
Poll Bill Brady Kirk DillardBruce RaunerDan RutherfordUndecidedMargin of ErrorSample Size
Capitol Fax/We AskAmericaPoll
June 20, 2013
November 26, 2013
Chicago Tribune/WGN
February 2-8, 2014
February 25, 2014
Chicago Tribune/WGN
March 1-5, 2014
March 4, 2014
March 11, 2014
March 16, 2014
AVERAGES 17.09% 17.48% 35.02% 11.83% 18.46% +/-3.17 1,068
Note: The polls above may not reflect all polls that have been conducted in this race. Those displayed are a random sampling chosen by Ballotpedia staff. If you would like to nominate another poll for inclusion in the table, send an email to

**Due to the nature of the comparison, a placeholder figure of 0% is assigned to candidates not included in any given match-up round


See also: Illinois State Senate elections, 2012

Brady won re-election in the 2012 election for Illinois State Senate District 44. Brady was unopposed in the Republican primary on March 20 and was unopposed in the general election on November 6, 2012.[30][31][32]

Illinois State Senate, District 44, General Election, 2012
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Republican Green check mark transparent.pngBill Brady Incumbent 100% 82,542
Total Votes 82,542


Run for Governor

See also: Illinois gubernatorial election, 2010


Brady lost to Pat Quinn in the general election.[33]

Governor and Lt. Governor of Illinois, 2010
Party Candidate Vote % Votes
     Democratic Green check mark transparent.pngPat Quinn & Sheila Simon Incumbent 46.8% 1,745,219
     Republican Bill Brady & Jason Plummer 45.9% 1,713,385
     Independent Scott Lee Cohen & Baxter Swilley 3.6% 135,705
     Green Rich Whitney & Don Crawford 2.7% 100,756
     Libertarian Lex Green & Ed Ruthledge 0.9% 34,681
     None Write-in 0% 243
Total Votes 3,729,989


Bill Brady was declared the Republican Party nominee for Governor on March 5, 2010 by the Illinois Board of Elections[34]. The official tally had Brady winning by 192 votes[34].

2010 Race for Governor - Republican Primary[35]
Candidates Percentage
Adam Andrzekewski (R) 14.5%
Green check mark.jpg Bill Brady (R) 20.3%
Kirk Dillard (R) 20.2%
Andy McKenna (R) 19.3%
Dan Proft (R) 7.7%
Jim Ryan (R) 17.0%
Robert Schillerstorm (R) 1.0%
Total votes 767,485


Brady based his run for Illinois governor on a promise to cut "a dime in every dollar" from the state budget.[36] But with Illinois facing a $13 billion deficit, and an unfunded pension debt of over $90 billion there were questions as to how Brady could make those cuts. The GOP candidate said he would place some areas of Illinois' budget off limits, including public safety.[37]

Gov. Pat Quinn countered Brady's plan for budget cuts by proposing an income tax increase. Quinn says his so-called 1% education surcharge will produce needed dollars. Brady said that plan is only a 33% income tax hike, and won't even raise enough money to erase the state's deficit.

Brady also tried to entice voters with the promise of "bringing jobs back to Illinois." The Republican from Bloomington said that the state has lost hundreds of thousands of jobs in the eight years that the Democrats have been in office. Brady's stump speeches often referred to a plan to bring those jobs back to the state.[38]

Out of state Endorsements

Brady-Giuliani Part 1 (Q&A)

Bill Brady has garnered a lot of out of state attention. National Republican groups have supported his campaign for the Illinois governor's mansion. Brady has also been endorsed by a handful of national GOP figures, including former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani and New Jersey Governor Chris Christie.


Call for count

As of November 3, 2010, there was not a clear winner for the gubernatorial election in Illinois. Quinn had a small lead, with 99 percent of precincts reporting. Brady called for each individual vote to be counted, "even if it takes a month."[39][40][41] On November 5, Brady conceded the race to Quinn.[42]


On November 4, 2008, Republican Bill Brady won re-election to the Illinois State Senate District 44 receiving 88,718 votes.[43]

Illinois State Senate, District 44 (2008)
Candidates Votes
Green check mark transparent.png Bill Brady (R) 88,718

Campaign donors

Comprehensive donor information for Brady is available dating back to 1996. Based on available campaign finance records, Brady raised a total of $23,468,304 during that time period. This information was last updated on July 17, 2013.[44]

Bill Brady's Campaign Contribution History
Year Office Result Contributions
2012 Illinois State Senate, District 44 Won $265,294
2010 Illinois Governor Defeated $19,945,166
2008 Illinois State Senate, District 44 Won $606,687
2006 Illinois Governor Defeated $1,873,476
2004 Illinois State Senate, District 44 Won $279,923
2002 Illinois State Senate, District 44 Won $287,112
1998 Illinois State House, District 88 Won $117,821
1996 Illinois State House, District 88 Won $92,825
Grand Total Raised $23,468,304


Brady won re-election to the Illinois State Senate in 2012. During that election cycle, Brady raised a total of $265,294.


Brady lost the election for the Illinois Governor in 2010. During that election cycle, Brady raised a total of $19,945,166.


Brady won re-election to the Illinois State Senate in 2008. During that election cycle, Brady raised a total of $606,687.


Brady lost the election for the Illinois Governor in 2006. During that election cycle, Brady raised a total of $1,873,476.


Brady won re-election to the Illinois State Senate in 2004. During that election cycle, Brady raised a total of $279,923.


Brady won election to the Illinois State Senate in 2002. During that election cycle, Brady raised a total of $287,112.


Brady won re-election to the Illinois House of Representatives in 1998. During that election cycle, Brady raised a total of $117,821.


Brady won re-election to the Illinois House of Representatives in 1996. During that election cycle, Brady raised a total of $92,825.


State of the State response

In January 2014, Brady responded to Governor Pat Quinn's 2014 State of the State address and Quinn's agenda for a new building program for Illinois, new early childhood education initiatives, and a higher minimum wage. Brady criticized the speech for not outlining anything useful or new. “Pat Quinn is a guy who goes through the motions,” Brady said. “He doesn’t seem to get anything done. But he does go through the motions, I’ll give him that."[45]


Illinois Opportunity Project

See also: Illinois Opportunity Project's Legislative Vote Card

The Illinois Opportunity Project, "an independent research and public policy enterprise that promotes legislative solutions in advance of free markets and free minds," annually releases its Legislative Vote Card, grading all members in both chambers of the Illinois General Assembly on the basis of their support of "pro-growth economic policies that increase personal freedom and reign in expansive government."[46][47]


Brady received a score of 100.00 out of 100 in 2012 for a grade of A+ according to the IOP’s grading scale. His score was tied for the highest among all 59 members of the Illinois State Senate included in the Vote Card.[47]


Brady and his wife, Nancy, have three children.

See also

Recent news

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  1. Chicago Business, "Bill Brady hoping second time is gubernatorial charm," June 26, 2014
  2. The State Journal-Register, "Sen. Bill Brady announces 3rd bid for governor," June 25, 2013
  3. Illinois State Board of Elections, "Candidate list," December 3, 2013
  4. 4.0 4.1 Bill Brady for Governor 2014 Official Campaign Website, "Homepage," accessed July 1, 2014
  5. Illinois General Assembly, "List of Illinois Senate Committees," July 28, 2009
  6. Illinois News Network, "No agreement on term limits among gubernatorial candidates," October 8, 2013
  7. Illinois News Network, "Tax extension not popular with candidates," February 10, 2014
  8. Illinois News Network, "Corporate incentives and the candidates," February 25, 2014
  9. Illinois News Network, "Gubernatorial candidates and the progressive tax," February 28, 2014
  10. Illinois News Network, "Gubernatorial candidates talk school choice," March 4, 2014
  11. Governing Politics, "2013-2014 Governor's Races: Who's Vulnerable?," December 11, 2012
  12. Chicago Tribune, "Simon will not run again for lieutenant governor," February 13, 2013
  13. Chicago Magazine, "What Happens After Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon Quits Pat Quinn’s Team," March 26, 2013
  14. The Chicago Tribune, "House votes to eliminate lieutenant governor post," April 12, 2013
  15. 15.0 15.1 CBS Local - Chicago, "2014 Governor Candidates To Choose Running Mates," August 24, 2013
  16. Capitol Fax, "This just in… Lisa Madigan announces re-election bid," July 15, 2013
  17. Governing, "William Daley Considering Bid for Illinois Governor," December 21, 2012
  18. 18.0 18.1, "Daley files paperwork for governor run," June 10, 2013
  19. Cite error: Invalid <ref> tag; no text was provided for refs named dropout
  20. New Jersey Herald, "Daley: Exit from race doesn't mean I couldn't win," September 17, 2013
  21. St. Louis Today, "Illinois Gov. Quinn 2nd least popular incumbent going into 2014," April 9, 2013
  22. Chicago Tribune, "For governor: The Tribune endorses Bruce Rauner, to revive Illinois," October 10, 2014
  23. Chicago Sun-Times, "Chicago Tribune endorses Obama. First Democrat to get Trib presidential nod," October 17, 2008
  24. Ballot Access News, "Libertarian Party Statewide Slate Will Appear on Illinois Ballot," August 22, 2014
  25., "Capitol Fax/We Ask America Poll - Poll shows Rauner movement," July 8, 2013
  26. Crain's Chicago Business, "How Bruce Rauner won the GOP primary," March 19, 2014
  27. Peoria Public Radio, "How the self-funding of Rauner's campaign is impacting the race for Governor," March 12, 2014
  28. Chicago Tribune, "Election Calendar, Primary Results," last updated March 18, 2014
  29. 29.0 29.1 Ballot Access News, "Shockingly Low Turnout in Illinois Democratic Primary Suggests Many Democrats Voted in Republican Primary," March 20, 2014
  30. Illinois State Board of Elections, "Candidate List," accessed December 5, 2011
  31. Illinois State Board of Elections, "Official 2012 Primary Results," accessed May 14, 2014
  32. Illinois State Board of Elections, “Official Vote - November 6, 2012 General Election,” accessed December 31, 2012
  33. Illinois State Board of Elections, "2010 General Election Official Vote Totals Book," december 8, 2010, accessed December 21, 2010
  34. 34.0 34.1 NBC Chicago-WMAQ-TV-5" "It's Official: Brady Wins," March 5, 2010
  35. Illinois State Board of Elections, "Vote Totals List: General Primary 2010" accessed July 7, 2010
  36. "Brady talks cuts at state fair," Illinois Statehouse News, August 17, 2010
  37. "Brady, Quinn seeking public employee support," Illinois Statehouse News, October 7, 2010
  38. "Gov Candidates Talk Jobs on Tour of State," Illinois Statehouse News, August 31, 2010
  39. "Bill Brady: It’s Not Over," Illinois Statehouse News, November 3, 2010
  40. "Brady not ready to concede to Quinn," Chicago Sun-Times, November 3, 2010
  41. "Bill Brady: 30 Day Wait Likely To Get Total Vote Count for Gov’s Race," Illinois Statehouse News, November 3, 2010
  42. Chicago Tribune, "Republican Bill Brady concedes governor's race to Quinn," November 5, 2011
  43. Follow the Money, "Illinois Senate election results for 2008," November 4, 2008
  44., "Brady, William E," accessed July 17, 2013
  45., "Illinois governor lays out ambitious agenda, forgets to mention how to pay for it," accessed February 6, 2014
  46. Illinois Opportunity Project, "The Project," accessed February 21, 2013
  47. 47.0 47.1 Illinois Opportunity Project, "Legislative Vote Card home page," accessed February 21, 2013
Political offices
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Illinois Senate District 44
Succeeded by