Governor Jim Thompson Project Interviews

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Governor Jim Thompson Project Interviews

James Thompson - Governor Jim Thompson Project

Illinois's governor from January, 1977 to January, 1991

Campaign Ads  - Governor Jim Thompson Project

Jim Thompson was new to politics when he launched his first campaign for governor in 1975. For those in the Chicago area, his was a familiar name. He was the U.S. Attorney who fought against public corruption, sending former Governor Otto Kerner to jail, along with scores of other public officials. As far as Thompson was concerned, it gave him the credentials to run for governor for a large and diverse state.

The next step, then, was to make himself known not just to those in the Chicago area, but to all Illinoisans. He campaigned hard in downstate Illinois, and learned quickly the importance of introducing himself to voters.  His standard line?  “Hello, my name is Jim Thompson, and I’m running for Governor.” But Thompson knew that grassroots campaigning was not enough. He hired Washington, D.C. based political consultants Doug Bailey and John Deardorff as well as pollster Bob Teeter to develop a series of campaign ads. They created a couple of longer spots designed to introduce the candidate to the voters, then produced a series of 30-second ads with the candidate talking to voters on the street. Following Thompson’s victory in the Republican primary, they added several ads using the candidate’s own words during his speech on primary night. None of the ads mentioned Michael Howlett, his Democratic opponent; there would be no mud-slinging in this campaign. Instead, the ads focused on Thompson’s record of success as U.S. Attorney, and his pledge to be a tough, honest leader, with compassion for the needy and the taxpayer. 

Gregory Baise - Governor Jim Thompson Project

Scheduler, Personnel Director, and Director of DOT for Gov Thompson

Michael Bakalis - Governor Jim Thompson Project

Scheduler, Personnel Director, and Director of DOT for Gov Thompson

David Bourland - Governor Jim Thompson Project

Long-time curator of the IL Executive mansion, and friend of Gov. Jim Thompson

Richard J. Carlson - Governor Jim Thompson Project

Executive Reorg and the Program Staff during Gov. Thompson’s First Two Terms

Julie Cellini - Governor Jim Thompson Project

Early years and journalistic career in Springfield

Barbara Flynn Currie - Governor Jim Thompson Project

Majority Leader Currie discusses her long career in the IL Legislature

Julian C. D'Esposito Jr. - Governor Jim Thompson Project

Julian D'Esposito served as Governor Jim Thompson's chief counsel from 1977 to 1981 and as his director of staff.

Kirk Dillard - Governor Jim Thompson Project

Legislative liaison for Governor Jim Thompson

Jim Edgar - Governor Jim Thompson Project

Jim Edgar's years with Gov. Thompson as legislative liaison and Secretary

Tyrone C. Fahner - Governor Jim Thompson Project

Gov. Jim Thompson’s director of law enforcement from 1977 to 1979

Kim Fox - Governor Jim Thompson Project

Long-time assistant to Gov. Jim Thompson and Executive Director of Citizens for Thompson

David Gilbert - Governor Jim Thompson Project

First two years of the Thompson administration: 1977-1978

Robert (Bob) Kjellander - Governor Jim Thompson Project

Campaign manager for Jim Thompson's 1982 gubernatorial campaign and long-time Republican supporter

Ann Lousin - Governor Jim Thompson Project

Law professor at the John Marshall Law School

Robert Mandeville - Governor Jim Thompson Project

Budget Process under Thompson and Life in the Administration

Jeffrey C. Miller - Governor Jim Thompson Project

Director of Public Aid for Gov. Thompson administration

Susan Mogerman - Governor Jim Thompson Project

Working with Gov. Jim Thompson as assistant press secretary

Dr. Philip R. O'Connor - Governor Jim Thompson Project

Trusted political strategist and chair of IL Commerce Commission for Gov. Thompson

Jim Reilly - Governor Jim Thompson Project

Chief of Staff for Governor Jim Thompson (1983-1989)

Gene Reineke - Governor Jim Thompson Project

Reineke worked in a various positions in the Jim Thompson administration

Tim Romani - Governor Jim Thompson Project

Legal counsel to Adlai Stevenson III during 1982 and 1986 gubernatorial elections

John R. Schmidt - Governor Jim Thompson Project

Legal counsel to Adlai Stevenson III during 1982 and 1986 gubernatorial elections

Adlai III Stevenson - Governor Jim Thompson Project

Former U.S. Senator ran twice for governor against Jim Thompson, in 1982 and 1986

Samantha Thompson - Governor Jim Thompson Project

Life as the First Daughter of Illinois

Bernard Turnock - Governor Jim Thompson Project

Thompson Administration’s Response to the AIDS Crisis

Dan Webb - Governor Jim Thompson Project

Experiences with Jim Thompson as U.S. Attorney’s office

 Related Materials - Governor Jim Thompson Project

Find interviews in our other Oral History Collections that relate to Governor Thompson's Administration!

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