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Michael Bakalis - Governor Jim Thompson Project

In 1978 the Democratic Party selected Michael Bakalis, the young State Comptroller, to run for governor against 'Big' Jim Thompson, a popular young governor with just two years in office. Bakalis had become involved in Illinois Democratic politics in the late 1960s while he was a young faculty member at Northern Illinois University. In 1970 the Democratic Party slated him to run for Superintendent of Public Education, and he won after a spirited campaign. In 1976 he was elected as the State Comptroller. In 1978 Bakalis ran as a fiscal conservative and social moderate, but the race was more about image than issues, and he managed to pull only 40 percent of the vote against Thompson’s 59 percent.

Interview Links

Feature Excerpt

"Slatemaking"

Abstract

Interview Session 01 (Audio)

Years as Illinois’s Superintendent of Schools and Comptroller

Interview Session 02 (Audio)

1978 gubernatorial campaign against Jim Thompson

Photos

Caption

Michael Bakalis, the Democratic candidate for Superintendent of Public Education, joined Senate candidate Adlai Stevenson and Alan Dixon, who was running for state treasurer, during the 1970 campaign.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1970

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Michael Bakalis’s official campaign photo for the 1970 race for state superintendent.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1970

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo-campaign photograph

Caption

Bakalis joined Congressman Roman Pucinski, a leader in Chicago’s Polish community, during a visit to a Chicago elementary school in the early 1970s.

Where:

Chicago, Illinois

When:

Early 1970s

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Michael Bakalis meets with senior staff in the Office of the State Superintendent of Education in Springfield in the early 1970s.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

Early 1970s

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Michael Bakalis with a special needs child, circa 1970s.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Circa 1970s

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Superintendant of Schools Michael Bakalis with Mayor Richard J. Daley, Senator Adlai Stevenson, and Senator Ed Muskie during the 1970s.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1970s

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Michael Bakalis’s gives his inaugural speech after being sworn in as Superintendent of Schools in Illinois’s state legislative chambers in Springfield, in January, 1971.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

January 1971

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

The Bakalis family gathers around the new State Superintendant’s desk on Inauguration Day in 1971.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1971

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Michael Bakalis’s official photo as State Superintendent of Public Education, 1971.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1971

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Michael Bakalis during his inauguration as State Superintendent in 1971. Also on the podium are Adlai Stevenson (partly obscured), Justice Daniel Ward and House Speaker W. Robert Blair. Governor Richard Ogilvie is on the right.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1971

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Michael Bakalis with Reverend Jesse Jackson and Chicago School Superintendent Manford Byrd at a P.U.S.H. event, circa 1972-1973.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Circa 1972-1973

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo-campaign photograph

Caption

Michael Bakalis with Senator George McGovern, 1972, who appeared together for one of McGovern’s campaign stops during his run for president.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1972

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Michael Bakalis’s campaign photo for his race for state comptroller in 1976.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1976

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo-campaign photograph

Caption

Michael Bakalis with Senator Charles Percy (R) and Congresswoman Cardis Collins (D) at an event, circa 1976-1977.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Circa 1976-1977

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo-campaign photograph

Caption

Michael Bakalis and Neil Hartigan during the 1976 campaign. Hartigan was the lieutenant governor at the time, and Bakalis was running for Comptroller.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1976

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Michael Bakalis sits alongside Alan Dixon during Bakalis’s 1976 campaign for state comptroller.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1976

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo-campaign photograph

Caption

Michael Bakalis with wife Desi during his race for state comptroller in 1976.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1976

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Bakalis meets with a couple of constituents during a campaign event for Illinois State Comptroller in 1976.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1976

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo-campaign photograph

Caption

Michael Howlett, at the microphone, was the democratic candidate for governor in 1976. Michael Bakalis, on the right, rear was candidate for state comptroller that year.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1976

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo-campaign photograph

Caption

Michael Bakalis with his wife, Desi, at his inauguration as State Comptroller in 1977 in Springfield.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1977

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Michael Bakalis, with wife Desi, is being sworn in as State Comptroller during the 1977 inauguration ceremony in Springfield. Governor Jim Thompson can be seen in the far right.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1977

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.

Caption

Michael Bakalis, sitting on the left, attends a rally where Vice President Walter Mondale spoke in 1977.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1977

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo-campaign photograph

Caption

Michael Bakalis’s official family portrait used during his 1978 race for governor. Pictured are wife Desi, older daughter Patty (right), and younger daughter Erin (center).

Where:

Unknown

When:

1978

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Michael Bakalis joined Congressman Dan Rostenkowski and Rosalynn Carter while marching in Chicago’s Polish Independence Day Parade during Bakalis’s 1978 race for governor.

Where:

Chicago, Illinois

When:

1978

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo-campaign photograph

Caption

Michael Bakalis prepares for a debate with opponent Jim Thompson in his home study during the 1978 race for governor.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1978

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Bakalis stands alongside wife Desi and Mayor of Chicago Michael Bilandic at an event in Chicago in 1978.

Where:

Chicago, Illinois

When:

1978

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo

Caption

Rosalynn Carter spoke at a fundraiser during Michael Bakalis’s race for governor in 1978.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1978

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo-campaign photograph

Caption

President Jimmy Carter campaigned for Bakalis in 1978. Alongside are Bakalis’s wife Desi, and their children.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1978

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo-campaign photograph

Caption

Michael Bakalis speaks to a small group “coffee” during his 1978 campaign for governor. He maintained an ambitious schedule during the campaign.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1978

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo-campaign photograph

Caption

Michael Bakalis and Gov. Jim Thompson both made appearances at the same parade during the gubernatorial race in 1978.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1978

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo-campaign photograph

Caption

Dick Durbin (Bakalis’s running mate), Chicago Mayor Mike Bilandic, Michael Bakalis, and Senator Edward Kennedy show their unity during Bakalis’s gubernatorial campaign in 1978.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1978

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo-campaign photograph

Caption

Michael Bakalis with Paul Simon and Dick Durbin during Bakalis’s campaign in 1978.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1978

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo-campaign photograph

Caption

Michael Bakalis chats with President Jimmy Carter, who campaigned for Bakalis during his 1978 race for governor.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1978

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo-campaign photograph

Caption

Michael Bakalis held a rally at the Illinois State Capitol in Springfield, Illinois during his 1978 campaign for governor.

Where:

Springfield, Illinois

When:

1978

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo-campaign photograph

Caption

Mike Bakalis is giving a campaign speech in downtown Chicago during his 1978 race for governor.

Where:

Chicago, Illinois

When:

1978

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo-campaign photograph

Caption

Michael Bakalis during his 1978 race for governor. From left to right are Roland Burris, Alex Seith, Bakalis, President Jimmy Carter, and Senator Adlai Stevenson.

Where:

Unknown

When:

1978

Ownership:

Narrator’s photo-campaign photograph

Caption

Congressman Dan Rostenkowski (on the left), and Michael Bakalis are enjoying a speech by Senator Adlai Stevenson, circa 1982.

Where:

Unknown

When:

Circa 1982

Ownership:

This image is considered to be in the public domain.



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