City Club of Chicago: The Future of the Republican Party in Illinois

Dan Proft, Pat Brady and Tom Cross during the Future of the Republican Party in Illinois panel at the City Club of Chicago, May 22, 2018 (City Club of Chicago)

May 22, 2018

The Future of the Republican Party in Illinois – moderated by Tom Cross – A Conversation with Pat Brady and Dan Proft

Dan Proft

Dan Proft is an entrepreneur, editorial contributor to the Chicago Tribune, former Republican candidate for Governor, and radio talk show host with AM 560 The Answer in Chicago where he co-hosts the morning drive show. He voices a popular political commentary, “:60 of Sanity,” heard by 2 million listeners weekly on the Salem Radio Network.

Dan serves on the boards of directors for the USO of Illinois, a non-profit that provides assistance to Illinois military families, Envision Unlimited, a nonprofit in Chicago that serves developmentally disabled persons, Aid for Women, a Catholic, life-affirming pregnancy center, the Advisory Board of the Center for Civic Leadership at Benedictine University and Truth in Accounting, a nonprofit dedicated to accurate public sector accounting and budgeting. He runs one of Illinois’ largest Independent Expenditure PACs, Liberty Principles PAC, which supports candidates committed to the economic liberty policy agenda for state and local offices.

Dan is also a co-founder of Illinois Opportunity Project, a c4 which advocates for free market public policy solutions. Dan earned his BA from Northwestern University and his JD from Loyola University-Chicago School of Law.

Pat Brady

Pat Brady is a government affairs consultant to Next Generation Public Affairs, a Midwest-based full service government affairs firm. Brady specializes in issue advocacy, messaging, media relations and government affairs. Brady recently stepped down as Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party and as a member of the Republican National Committee. He is a former federal fraud and corruption prosecutor, “big 4” consulting firm principal and national law firm partner.

In 2010, under Pat’s Chairmanship, Illinois Republicans had their best year in decades in both fundraising and electoral success. Among Republican successes that year, in a race of national focus, Congressman Mark Kirk won the U.S. Senate seat previously held by President Barack Obama. Brady served as a key surrogate of the campaign in numerous TV, Radio and print media interviews.

Critical to the electoral success in 2010 was that under Pat’s leadership the Illinois Republican Party, for the first time in its history ran an integrated, technologically sophisticated, statewide get out the vote program which ranked as one of the nation’s top “Victory” GOTV programs making over 4 million phone calls and door knocks.

As a member of the Republican National Committee, Pat played a key role in the election of two RNC Chairmen, served on the Finance and Budget Committees, and Chaired the Ethics Committee.

Tom Cross

Tom Cross served in the Illinois House of Representatives from 1993 to 2014, representing the citizens, nonprofits, and businesses of the 97th Legislative District. Cross served as our caucus’ lead spokesman, legislative negotiator, recruiter and fundraiser.

Cross joined the media relations firm, Culloton Strategies, as a Senior Consultant. At the firm, they help executives and entrepreneurs with strategic communication challenges and have a speciality in public affairs, crisis communications and issue campaigns. Cross is also a Distinguished Fellow at Aurora University, working to raise awareness and funding for their innovative new approach to STEM education at the John C. Dunham STEM Partnership School. In February 2016, Governor Bruce Rauner named Cross the volunteer Chairman of the Illinois Board of Higher Education. This organization is responsible for planning and coordinating the state’s system of higher education through several statutory responsibilities.