Bill Brady (politician)

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Bill Brady
Minority Leader of the Illinois Senate
Assumed office
July 1, 2017
Preceded byChristine Radogno
Member of the Illinois Senate
from the 44th district
Assumed office
May 2002
Preceded byJohn Maitland
Member of the Illinois House of Representatives
from the 88th district
In office
January 1993 – January 2001
Preceded byGordon Ropp
Succeeded byDan Brady
Personal details
Born (1961-05-15) May 15, 1961 (age 58)
Bloomington, Illinois, U.S.
Political partyRepublican
Spouse(s)Nancy Brady
EducationIllinois Wesleyan University (BA)

William E. "Bill" Brady Jr. (born May 15, 1961)[1] is a Republican member of the Illinois Senate who has represented the 44th Legislative District since his appointment in May 2002.

Brady previously served in the Illinois House of Representatives, representing the 88th District from 1993 to 2001. He also ran unsuccessfully for Governor of Illinois in 2006, 2010, and 2014.

Early life, education and career[edit]

Brady was born on May 15, 1961, in Bloomington, Illinois. He graduated from Central Catholic High School and Illinois Wesleyan University.[citation needed]

A millionaire real estate developer and broker,[2] Brady is a co-owner of Brady Homes, one of Central Illinois' largest home builders, founded by his father, Bill Brady Sr.[3] In early 2014, it was reported that Brady's real estate development business had been sued twice for defaulting on loans.[4][5]

Illinois Legislature[edit]

In 1992, Bill Brady defeated seven term incumbent Gordon Ropp by a razor thin margin in the Republican primary.[6] Ten years later, Brady was appointed to the Illinois Senate in 2002 to succeed John Maitland.[7]


Brady serves on the following committees:[8]

  • Agriculture and Conservation
  • Committee of the Whole
  • Conference Committee on SB1
  • Environment
  • Insurance
  • State Government &Veterans Affairs
  • Transportation

Political campaigns[edit]

Brady ran for Governor of Illinois three times and was the Republican Nominee in 2010, but was ultimately unsuccessful in each run.

2006 gubernatorial election[edit]

Brady ran for governor in 2006.[9] He finished third in the Republican primary, getting about 18% of the vote.[10]

2010 gubernatorial election[edit]

In the 2010 gubernatorial election, he defeated his closest competitor, State Senator Kirk Dillard, by 193 votes in the GOP primary,[11] and faced incumbent Democratic Governor Pat Quinn and Green Party candidate Rich Whitney in November.[11] Brady's running mate was 28-year-old Jason Plummer, past Chairman of the Madison County Republican Party and, at the time,[citation needed] an intelligence officer in the U.S. Naval Reserve and vice president in his father's lumber business.[12] Despite winning 98 of Illinois's 102 counties, Brady lost to Quinn by around 32,000 votes out of 3,700,000.[13][14]


Brady won 98 out of the 102 counties, winning all of the Chicago collar (suburban) counties. However, Quinn's huge win in Cook County which encompasses the Chicago Metropolitan Area, provided a large buffer of votes that Brady could not overcome. On election night, Quinn had an initial, large lead when results from Cook County were the first began to come in. Once suburban and rural precincts reported the vote tallies, Brady narrowed the gap, but Cook County provided enough votes to give the election to Governor Quinn. Brady conceded defeat on the following day, November 3. Quinn's win was ranked by Politico as the 7th biggest upset of the 2010 elections.[citation needed]

Illinois gubernatorial election, 2010[15]
Party Candidate Votes % ±
Democratic Pat Quinn/Sheila Simon (Incumbent) 1,745,219 46.79% -3.00%
Republican Bill Brady/Jason Plummer 1,713,385 45.94% +6.68%
Independent Scott Lee Cohen 135,705 3.64%
Green Rich Whitney 100,756 2.70% -7.66%
Libertarian Lex Green 34,681 0.93%
Plurality 31,834 0.85% -9.68%
Turnout 3,729,746
Democratic hold Swing

2014 gubernatorial election[edit]

Brady announced his third bid for Illinois Governor on June 26, 2013.[16] His fellow GOP contenders were businessman Bruce Rauner, state treasurer Dan Rutherford, and Senator Kirk Dillard. Brady's running mate was Maria Rodriguez. She was initially courted by Bruce Rauner as a running mate. Rodriguez carried two terms as mayor of Long Grove, Illinois.[17] Brady was the lowest-funded of the four Republican candidates for the primary election, with only $273,000 in his campaign account at the end of 2013.[18] During his campaign, Brady made several swipes at competitor Bruce Rauner, including comparing Rauner to disgraced and jailed former Illinois Governor Rod Blagojevich.[19] Among other things, Brady advocated for pension reform, reducing taxes, reforming worker's compensation, not increasing the minimum wage, and the dismantling of the Illinois State Board of Education.[20] Brady lost the GOP primary at third place with 15% of the vote.

Political positions[edit]


According to his campaign website, Brady believes in balancing the budget and paying down debt by "deconstructing Illinois spending and constructing a new budget, based on efficiency and priorities".[citation needed] He has proposed a plan to cut “a dime for every dollar” in state spending. But depending on the starting point, that may cut $3 billion to $5 billion from the $13 billion deficit.[21]


Brady supports replacing the Illinois State Board of Education with a smaller agency that receives half of the current $80 million funding, or $40 million.[22][23]

Brady believes that intelligent design, which he has described as "in other words, teaching the Bible", should be taught in public schools, saying that "we should teach the Bible in our schools. One of the basic, fundamental voids we have in our school system is bringing God into the system." In a follow-up interview, he explained: "I certainly believe that local school boards should have the opportunity to teach kids about the Bible, just as they ought to be able to teach them about the Qur'an." He added: "I believe in school prayer. I think that local school boards should be able to dictate that they start the day with prayer."[24][25]

Brady supports competition in elementary and secondary education and, "either through board action or citizens initiative", school districts funding the tuition to private schools, at a rate that is, at minimum, what the state provides to the school district.[26]


Brady supports lowering Illinois' minimum wage from its current $8.25 per hour to match the federal minimum wage of $7.25.[27] Brady has said that the minimum wage should be controlled by “market-forces”. “I think supply and demand in the marketplace determines the rate of minimum wage. I don't think governmental intrusion is as effective," said Brady.[28] Brady has also called for a freeze in the state's minimum wage until the lower federal rate catches up to that in Illinois.[29]

Death penalty[edit]

Brady intended to lift the moratorium on the death penalty if he became governor.[30]


Bill Brady self-identifies as pro-life. He supports a ban on all abortions, including in cases of rape and incest. He makes an exception and allows abortion when a mother's life is at risk.[31][32][33] He has also backed legislation allowing pharmacists to refuse to dispense emergency contraception.[34]

Same-sex marriage[edit]

A week after winning the Republican primary, Brady introduced a proposed state constitutional amendment on February 10, 2010[35] defining marriage as between "one man and one woman".[36][37][38][39] The proposed constitutional amendment would also deny validity and recognition to any "uniting of persons of the same sex in a civil union, domestic partnership, or other similar same sex relationship."[39] Although Brady was originally the main sponsor of the amendment, its chief sponsor is now Illinois State Senator John O. Jones, who became co-sponsor with Brady the week following its submission.[40] Brady has stated that he is "concerned that activist judges could overturn our current law protecting this institution".[30] Brady has also stated his opposition to civil unions for gay couples on more than one occasion.[41]

Stem cell research[edit]

Brady voted against legislation that would authorize state funding for embryonic stem cell research but prohibit human cloning. The legislation passed.[42]

Health insurance[edit]

Brady voted against extending parental health insurance to unmarried dependents. The legislation later passed.[42]

Brady co-sponsored SB 908 – Insurance Without Mandated Coverage - in 2003. SB 908 would have allowed insurance providers to offer plans that do not include coverage otherwise mandated in Illinois law.[citation needed] He voted NO on HB 211 in 2003 – Contraceptive Coverage in Private Health Insurance. HB 211, which became law in 2003,[citation needed] required any private insurance plan that covered prescription drugs and devices to also cover FDA approved contraceptive drugs and devices, but expressly states that nothing in it requires the coverage of abortion services.[citation needed]

Brady has called for cuts to the state's Medicaid program, where he says his proposed forensic audit would reveal fraud, mismanagement and abuse. He also favors switching many Medicaid patients to a managed care system – the type currently administered by many Health Management Organizations (HMOs) – to control the cost of health care.[43]


Brady opposes the legalization of marijuana in Illinois.[44]

Gun control[edit]

Brady has stated that he is opposed to any further restrictions to the ownership of firearms in Illinois. He is also for legalizing concealed carry, which would allow a law-abiding, licensed Illinois resident to carry a handgun or other weapon in public in a concealed manner.[30][45]


Brady's campaign website states that his administration would be a "clean break" from the ethics scandals of past governors. He supports capping individual campaign contributions at $4,800 for each election cycle and prohibiting union and corporate contributions.[46]

Brady has opposed requiring campaign contributors to list their occupations. He also dismissed adopting detailed federal-style statements of economic interest for public officials in Illinois as an "overreaction."[47]

Term limits[edit]

Brady has called for term limits in Illinois. He would limit legislators to five terms in the House (10 years) and three terms (18 years) in the Senate.[48]


Brady has opposed efforts to raise state sales and income tax rates in Illinois. He favors reducing sales taxes that he claims drive retail jobs and businesses to other states. He favors dedicating a percentage of Illinois revenue to property tax relief[clarification needed] and eliminating the estate tax in Illinois.[citation needed]

Animal control[edit]

In February 2010, Brady sponsored a bill (SB2999) in the 96th General Assembly that would allow the mass euthanasia of dogs and cats based upon the demands of his constituents in his district.[49] After it received considerable criticism, he retracted his sponsorship and now has said that he would veto any such bill.[50]

Personal life[edit]

Bill and his wife, Nancy, have three children and own a home in Bloomington.[1][51]


  1. ^ a b "Bill Brady". Archived from the original on 20 March 2015. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  2. ^ "Clout St: Tribune poll: Brady holds slim lead over Quinn". 2010-09-03. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  3. ^ "Clout St: Inside Republican governor candidate Bill Brady's business deals". 2010-05-22. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  4. ^ Bond, Brendan (January 17, 2014). "Bill Brady's family business has been sued...twice". Associated Press. Reboot Illinois. Archived from the original on March 10, 2014. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  5. ^ Heinzmann, David (January 17, 2014). "Brady faces 2nd lawsuit over business loan defaults". Associated Press. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  6. ^ Amyllen L. Bodily and Michael D. Klemens (1992-04-01). "Election results: Good-bye status quo". Illinois Issues. Northern Illinois University. Retrieved 2016-07-17.
  7. ^ "Endorsements for Illinois Senate". Chicago Tribune. 2002-10-15. Retrieved 2016-07-17.
  8. ^ "Senator William E. Brady (R), 44th District". Archived from the original on 3 August 2014. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  9. ^ State Journal-Register via Associated Press (2008-11-07). "Bill Brady says he will run for governor". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2009-01-30.
  10. ^ Ballots Cast -GENERAL PRIMARY - 3/21/2006. Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved December 14, 2014.
  11. ^ a b "Larry J. Sabato's Crystal Ball". Retrieved 2010-07-30.
  12. ^ Long, Ray (2010-02-04). "Family fortune, social networks lift Plummer". Chicago: Tribine Company. Retrieved 2010-10-29.
  13. ^ McDermott, Kevin (2010-11-07). "Pat Quinn defied pollsters, national wave to prevail". St. Louis, Missouri: St. Louis Post Dispatch. Retrieved 2010-11-06.
  14. ^ "Ballots Cast". Retrieved 2014-12-22.
  15. ^ "General Election of November 2, 2010" (PDF). Illinois State Board of Elections. Retrieved December 10, 2016.
  16. ^ Bond, Brendan (January 17, 2014). "Bill Brady 4th GOP candidate for governor in 2014". Associated Press. Reboot Illinois. Archived from the original on March 10, 2014. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  17. ^ Heinzmann, David (February 26, 2014). "Running mate considers Bill Brady a kindred spirit". Associated Press. Chicago Tribune. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  18. ^ Erickson, Kurt (March 9, 2014). "Brady starts putting ads on TV". Associated Press. Herald & Review. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  19. ^ "Bill Brady Compares Bruce Rauner to Blago". Associated Press. nbc Chicago. March 4, 2014. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  20. ^ Sweeny, Chuck (February 26, 2014). "Chuck Sweeny: Illinois Sen. Bill Brady hopes to end education bureaucracy". Associated Press. Retrieved March 10, 2014.
  21. ^ Kurt Erickson - "Brady, Quinn plans offer little remedy to budget deficit". Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  22. ^ Archived from the original on February 6, 2010. Retrieved February 3, 2010. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  23. ^ "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-08-16. Retrieved 2010-08-30.CS1 maint: Archived copy as title (link)
  24. ^ "Brady wants religion taught in Illinois public schools". 2005-10-20. Archived from the original on 2010-03-26. Retrieved 2010-07-30. Cites an October 20, 2005 Springfield State Journal-Register story by Bernard Schoenburg that includes an interview with Brady and also parts of a Brady interview with Jim Leach of WMAY (AM).
  25. ^ Pearson, Rick (2010-03-07). "Bill Brady finds himself standing in a harsher light". Chicago Tribune. Archived from the original on 2010-03-06. Retrieved 2010-05-22.
  26. ^ "Primary: Education". Chicago Tribune Election Center. On the Issues: Candidates for Governor. Chicago: Tribune Company. 2010-01-11. Archived from the original on August 4, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-09.
  27. ^ "Clout St: Brady supports lowering state minimum wage to match feds". 2010-06-25. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  28. ^ Erickson, Kurt (23 February 2003). "Big debate on minimum wage". The Pantagraph. p. 8.
  29. ^ Chicago Tribune, Hendon opens for Quinn, calls Brady racist, sexist, October 24, 2010, page 8
  30. ^ a b c "Primary: Social Issues". Chicago Tribune Election Center. On the Issues: Candidates for Governor. Chicago: Tribune Company. 2010-01-26. Archived from the original on August 4, 2010. Retrieved 2010-08-09.
  31. ^ Archived from the original on February 7, 2010. Retrieved March 2, 2010. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  32. ^ Pearson, Rick (2007-01-07). "Bill Brady finds himself standing in a harsher light". Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
  33. ^ "Illinois governor's race: Sen. Bill Brady accepts GOP nomination". Chicago Tribune. 2010-03-05. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  34. ^ "Voting history offers little insight on Brady". Bloomington Pantagraph. 2010-10-23. Retrieved 2010-10-23.
  35. ^ "Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SJRCA0095". 2002-04-17. Archived from the original on 10 August 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
  36. ^ "Chicago - Chicago : News : Politics : Things To Do : Sports". Chicago. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  37. ^ Sabella, Jen (2010-02-11). "Bill Brady Wants To Change Illinois Constitution To Ban Gay Marriage". Archived from the original on 10 July 2010. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
  38. ^ "Shawn Healy: Gay Marriage and the Governor's Race". 2010-04-26. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
  39. ^ a b "Illinois General Assembly - Full Text of SJRCA0095". 2002-04-17. Archived from the original on 2012-10-22. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
  40. ^ "Illinois General Assembly - Bill Status for SJRCA0095". Archived from the original on 2012-10-22. Retrieved 2010-08-29.
  41. ^ "Ill. Candidate: No Civil Unions". Archived from the original on 2010-10-09. Retrieved 2010-10-00. Check date values in: |accessdate= (help)
  42. ^ a b "Project Vote Smart - The Voter's Self Defense System". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  43. ^ "The cost of Bill Brady's plan". Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  44. ^ "Gubernatorial candidates split on medical marijuana bill". 2010-01-04. Retrieved 2010-07-30.
  45. ^ [1] Archived December 27, 2009, at the Wayback Machine
  46. ^ Bill Brady for Illinois. "Bill Brady for Illinois - Clean Break Ethics". Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  47. ^ "Clout St: Republican governor nominee Bill Brady under greater scrutiny". 2010-03-06. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  48. ^ " - ABC7 WLS Chicago and Chicago News". ABC7 Chicago. Retrieved 17 January 2015.
  49. ^ "Bill Status of SB2999, 96th General Assembly". Bills & Resolutions. Springfield, Illinois: Illinois General Assembly. Archived from the original on 2010-06-15. Retrieved 2010-11-06.
  50. ^ McKinney, Dave (2010-10-19). "Brady Backs Further Away From Euthanizing Animals". Chicago Sun-Times. Archived from the original on 22 October 2010. Retrieved 2010-11-06.
  51. ^ "Bio - Bill Brady". Project Vote Smart. Retrieved November 25, 2014.

External links[edit]

Governor campaign
Illinois General Assembly
Party political offices
Preceded by
Judy Topinka
Republican nominee for Governor of Illinois
Succeeded by
Bruce Rauner
Illinois Senate
Preceded by
Christine Radogno
Minority Leader of the Illinois Senate