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Robert (Bob) Kjellander - Governor Jim Thompson Project

Bob Kjellander of Springfield, Illinois has spent a lifetime involved in Republican politics, both at the state and national level. He worked in Governor Jim Thompson's legislative liaison office in 1977, and in 1978 moved to the governor's personnel office, where he managed patronage appointments. Two years later he became head of Gov. Thompson’s legislative liaison office. In late 1981 the governor asked him to run his 1982 gubernatorial campaign, with former Senator Adlai Stevenson III as Thompson’s Democratic opponent. He then left the Thompson administration and began a consulting business, but remained active in Republican politics as a fund raiser and supporter. Since 1998 he has managed George W. Bush's Midwest campaign for president in 2000, served as Republican National Committee treasurer from 2005 to 2007, and served as co-chair for the Republican National Convention in 2008.

Interview Links

Feature Excerpt

Patronage Directions from Gov. Thompson

Abstract

Interview Session 01 (Audio)

Patronage chief and legislative liaison for Gov. Jim Thompson

Interview Session 02 (Audio)

Campaign manager for Jim Thompson’s 1982 gubernatorial election

Interview Session 03 (Audio)

Years in private sector and Midwest chair of George Bush’s 2000 campaign

Interview Session 04 (Audio)

2004 IL Senate campaign and co-chair of 2008 Republican Convention

Transcript

Photos

Caption

Governor Jim Thompson personalized his photo for Bob Kjellander in 1983. Kjellander served in the Thompson administration in a variety of positions, including as his personnel director, legislative liaison and as campaign manager for the 1982 election.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1983

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Bob and Judy Kjellander met with President George H.W. Bush and Barbara Bush at the Springfield Airport in the early 1990s, when the Bushes were in town for a Republican fund raiser.

Where:

Springfield Airport, Springfield, Illinois

When:

Early 1990s

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Governor Jim Edgar signed this photo for Bob Kjellander sometime during Edgar’s time as governor from January, 1991 through January 1999.

Where:

Unknown

When:

January, 1991 through January 1999

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Bob Kjellander and Jim Edgar met in the Governor’s office circa 1995 to discuss Kjellander’s election to the Republican National Committee.

Where:

Governor’s office, Springfield, Illinois

When:

Circa 1995

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

From left to right are U.S. House Speaker Newt Gingrich, Judy and Bob Kjellander, son Eric, Congressman John Shimkus and Governor Jim Edgar are at the Kjellander residence circa 1996.

Where:

Kjellander residence, Springfield, Illinois

When:

Circa 1996

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

George Ryan personalized this photo for Bob Kjellander during Ryan’s term as governor from January, 1999 through January 2003. Their friendship went back thirty years when Kjellander worked for Gov. Thompson and Ryan was in the Illinois House.

Where:

Unknown

When:

January, 1999 through January 2003

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

In the fall of 1999 Gov. George W. Bush traveled to Springfield to gage the level of support for a possible run in 2000 for President. He met downstate Republicans in Bob and Judy Kjellander’s home.

Where:

Bob and Judy Kjellander’s home in Springfield, Illinois

When:

Fall of 1999

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Candidate Bush met with this group at the Kjellander residence in the fall of 1999 when Bush was testing the waters for President. From left to right are Judy Kjellander, son Rob, Lura Lynn and George Ryan, George Bush, Eric and Bob Kjellander.

Where:

Kjellander residence in Springfield, Illinois

When:

Fall of 1999

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

George Bush with his Springfield hosts, during a trip to Springfield in the fall of 1999 while Bush was seeking support for his 2000 presidential bid. From left to right are Eric and Bob Kjellander, Gov. George Bush, Judy and Rob Kjellander.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

Fall of 1999

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

J.C. Watts from Oklahoma (on the Republican’s House leadership team), Judy and Bob Kjellander and Ray LaHood met in the Kjellander residence for a La Hood fund raiser, circa 2000.

Where:

Kjellander residence in Springfield, Illinois

When:

Circa 2000

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Bob and Judy Kjellander attended every White House Christmas party during President George W. Bush’s tenure as President from 2001 through 2008. Kjellander ran Bush’s Midwest region campaign in 2000.

Where:

White House

When:

Circa 2001-2008

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

The 2008 Republican National Convention Site Selection Committee was checking out a potential site in Tampa, Florida when this photo was taken. Site Selection chair Joanne Davidson is in white, next to the sand statue, and Kjellander is on the right.

Where:

Tampa, Florida

When:

Circa 2007

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo



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