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Dan Brady named to Giannoulias' Secretary of State transition team

Dan Brady
Emily Bollinger
WGLT file
Illinois Secretary of State-Elect Alexi Giannoulias has asked his defeated opponent to serve on his transition team. That opponent, Dan Brady of Bloomington (above), said yes.

It's not unusual for members of a minority party to serve on transition teams for newly-elected statewide officeholders in Illinois. It's far less common to have a defeated opponent in a particular race on the team. But that's what has happened.

In a rare instance of Illinois bipartisanship, Illinois Secretary of State-elect Alexi Giannoulias has asked his defeated opponent, Dan Brady of Bloomington, to serve on the transition team. And Brady said yes.

"This may be somewhat unique, but I believe my qualifications are unique. That's why I ran for the office. And this gives me the opportunity to still serve the public and have a voice," said Brady.

The transition team has several committees. Brady said he hopes to use his experience in the issue of organ and tissue donation, chairing Giannoulias' committee on that topic. Brady said he also has an interest in modernizing all the paper-pushing the office does.

"As Alexi Giannoulias had noted, I was the chief architect of the electronic family birth and death records act in the state of Illinois and legislation about that. Today, we have that. And the same thing could be done with the legislation that's already been passed. The framework is there," said Brady.

That could affect electronic filing of car titles and notification of lien holders, banks, and credit unions, said Brady. Making the office more electronic could help law enforcement stay up to date on who owns what vehicles, even boats and mobile homes. He said that what takes 25 other states hours to do in title transfers takes Illinois weeks or months.

Brady will serve as a member of the transition team committee on driver’s license facilities and on the road safety committee, too.

The secretary of state's office affects more Illinoisans than any other single department. There are 21 divisions in the office. It has more than 4,000 employees. And Brady said the state pays $10.5 million in leases on 96 drivers license facilities. That cost was a campaign theme that Brady would like to see make it into the transition committee report.

"I talked about the potential of partnering with community colleges, at least to start sub-facilities in high-volume traffic areas. Alexi was the chair of the Community College Board at one time. I think that is certainly something he has an interest in," said Brady, who said he is pleased to be asked to help.

“Certainly, there's a wide variety of individuals that have offered to serve and will serve in this transition. I'm hopeful the ideas that come forth on the way are something that will be taken seriously. I have every reason to believe they will be implemented to the degree they can be to serve the general public,” said Brady.

The Bloomington Republican, a state House representative since 2001, said it's a step in the right direction toward bipartisanship.

"It's a fresh approach. I hope it's fruitful. I will certainly give it all my efforts and help because that's what we're both trying to do, make the office more efficient," said Brady.

During the campaign, Brady said he stressed the office of Secretary of State should be more about public service than public policy.

WGLT Senior Reporter Charlie Schlenker has spent more than three award-winning decades in radio. He lives in Normal with his family.