Democratic activist and fund-raiser William Brandt is taking the plunge--and running for elected office for the first time. After decades behind the scenes, Brandt will be filing petitions to run for State Central Committeeman from the Tenth Congressional District, an open spot.
(The way it works: This is a party post to be elected on Feb. 2. Under Democratic party rules, one man and one woman is elected from each congressional district. Lauren Beth Gash holds the female slot.)
The Feb. 2 balloting (a primary for the government offices) determines the winner for party offices.
The job is more important than in past years. The 10th congressional district seat is open--Rep. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) is running for the Senate, creating a rare vacant seat.
Brandt, a Winnetka resident, is the founder of Development Specialists, Inc. who most recently has done fund-raising and strategy for Mike Quigley and Tammy Duckworth's House campaigns and Hillary Rodham Clinton's primary presidential bid.
He is the chair of the Illinois Finance Authority, a member of the National Advisory Council for the Institute of Governmental Studies at the University of California at Berkeley and on the Board of Trustees of Loyola University Chicago.
Brandt said he is eager to turn the 10th -a swing district--from
blue to redred to blue. "I think the 10th congressional district general (in November) will be one of the most watched in the country."
Said Brandt, "We are trending Democratic and I want to make sure it stays that way."