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Dan Brady explores a run for Congress or return to the state legislature

Dan Brady speaking at news conference
Dan Brady
Updated: June 14, 2023 at 7:53 AM CDT
Illinois 17th District congressional candidate Ray Estrada responded to Brady's announcement. Estrada said he's not a career politician trying to cling to power.

Longtime former state legislator Dan Brady says he might not be done with political life after all.

Brady, a Republican from Bloomington, said he's considering running for Congress next year, or for the state legislature where he served for 20 years before a failed bid for Illinois Secretary of State.

“Over the next few weeks, I will be meeting and discussing with voters, donors, and my family the options I have to serve the public once again,” Brady said in a statement.

Brady, a funeral home operator and former McLean County coroner, said he is exploring whether to run in the 17th Congressional District. That district that covers much of central and northwestern Illinois (including parts of Bloomington-Normal and Peoria) is currently held by first-term Democrat Eric Sorensen.

Currently, the only announced GOP candidate is Ray Estrada, a Galesburg businessman and philanthropist. Republicans consider the district a top pickup opportunity in 2024.

Estrada, who describes himself as the conservative Republican candidate, issued a statement in response saying he is not a career politician and noted he has never run for public office.

"I'm not running to be someone or cling to power like many tired, old politicians. I'm running to get things done for our community," Estrada said.

Brady said he might also run for a newly-drawn Illinois House seat in the 88th House District that includes much of rural eastern McLean County. Republican Dan Caulkins, who currently serves in the 88th District, has said he will not run for re-election next year.

Brady lost to Alexi Giannoulias in the Illinois Secretary of State's race after winning a crowded Republican primary last year. Giannoulias later chose Brady to serve on his transition team.

Brady said he has staked his career on public service and stayed away from “harsh partisan rhetoric.”

“Being my own man has provided me the knowledge, experience and dedication needed to be an effective representative, whether in Springfield or Washington, D.C.,” Brady said.

Eric Stock is the News Director at WGLT. You can contact Eric at ejstoc1@ilstu.edu.
Tim Shelley is the News Director at WCBU Peoria Public Radio.