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Lou Holtz pitches former kicker against Lauren Underwood

Tuesday, Apr 23, 2019

* Jim Oberweis, Allen Skillicorn and now… Ted Gradel? You may be hearing more about him because Republican political consultant Chip Englander is working with his campaign to unseat freshman Democrat Lauren Underwood.

Here’s Gradel’s fundraising pitch…

I want you to be one of the first to know I am running for U.S. Congress in Illinois’s 14th District.

I’m a political outsider who wants to go to D.C. in order to get things done, not become a career politician.

After playing football for Coach Lou Holtz and graduating from Notre Dame, I moved to the Chicago area with my high school sweetheart, Sarah. We’ve now been married for nearly 30 years and have raised three daughters in Naperville.

I have spent my career in the private sector. The more I take a deeper look at the state of our country the more I see that the free market system that rewards ingenuity and work ethic is under assault. I’m running for Congress to defend our freedom and speak out against the false promise of socialism and a “Big Government” agenda.

I’ll use over 30 years of experience in the private sector to make our community a better place and fight for the future of our great country.

Together with my family I made the decision to run for Congress to restore and protect our freedoms so that everyone has the opportunity that I had to achieve their own American Dream.

I don’t have any ties to Washington or special interests. That is a positive in my book. But that means I am going to have to work harder and smarter than anyone else.

Will you join my campaign on day one?

Let’s send a signal to Washington to get ready for a political outsider ready to get things done and defend our free market. Join me today with a contribution to my campaign.

I am already working 24/7 on building a campaign from the ground up. I can’t do it without your help. I look forward to hearing from you soon!

Gratefully,

Ted Gradel

* Tweet…



* Lou Holtz narrated the campaign’s first video. It’s not bad

Gradel was an Academic All-American. You can buy his college trading card for $3 online. He’s a businessperson and a coach for the Illinois Rockets, a youth travel basketball club.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

58 Comments
  1. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 11:44 am:

    I’m not sure about Congress, but the Bears could sure use a decent kicker.


  2. - Flapdoodle - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 11:48 am:

    Lou Holtz is for him? Then I’m against him.


  3. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 11:50 am:

    ugh….ok…next, I mean county board might be a good place to start.


  4. - Last Bull Moose - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 11:51 am:

    Loved the Ad. Gave a strong sense of who he is.

    I played college football, so I may be prejudiced.


  5. - Iggy - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 11:52 am:

    awww yeah… getting the band back together, now I’m excited.


  6. - Former State Worker - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 11:52 am:

    He’ll be great for continuing to kick the can down the road.


  7. - Jocko - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 11:53 am:

    ==speak out against the false promise of socialism and a “Big Government” agenda.==

    Does that include health care? Lou mentioned your daughter being diagnosed with a crippling disease.


  8. - Huh? - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 11:53 am:

    “Let’s send a signal to Washington to get ready for a political outsider”

    America did that in 2016 and it isn’t working out very well.


  9. - Norseman - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 11:54 am:

    Lot of red state baloney to spew in a suburban district.


  10. - NIU Grad - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 11:55 am:

    To go against Skillicorn and Oberweis, they needed to pluck someone out of nowhere and throw millions of dollars at them (like they did with BVR). It’s not the exception in party politics…it’s the rule.


  11. - SoapOnRope - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 11:58 am:

    Good to see the GOP embracing diversity by adding an older white man as a counter balance to the less old white men in the race


  12. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 12:04 pm:

    –After playing football for Coach Lou Holtz…–

    Kind of overselling it there, Golden Domer. Not exactly Chris Zorich battling it out in the pits.

    One year on the roster, two extra-point attempts. To be fair, he made them both.

    But kickers aren’t real football players, anyway.

    https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/ted-gradel-1.html


  13. - lakeside - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 12:06 pm:

    So many fresh ideas in that email. I feel inspired. /s


  14. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 12:09 pm:

    –To go against Skillicorn and Oberweis, they needed to pluck someone out of nowhere and throw millions of dollars at them (like they did with BVR).–

    Who’s “they?”


  15. - jim - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 12:09 pm:

    ugh….ok…next, I mean county board might be a good place to start. from Anonymous

    Yeah, just like Underwood


  16. - Big Jim - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 12:10 pm:

    Between the whistle on the logo and the campaign motto, I think Chip and Co. went a little too phony. Voters will see past it.


  17. - Amalia - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 12:12 pm:

    Beat the Domers.


  18. - Michelle Flaherty - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 12:17 pm:

    Is the Illinois Republican Party really going to carry two kickers on its roster?


  19. - Last Bull Moose - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 12:19 pm:

    Word- Followed your link. Don’t think the info is complete. You don’t get to be first team Academic All American with two extra points.


  20. - Nonbeleiver - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 12:23 pm:

    OK. And now the issues please.


  21. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 12:24 pm:

    –I’m not sure about Congress, but the Bears could sure use a decent kicker.–

    Thanks a lot, dude. I’ve just erased that schlump’s name from my memory banks and you bring him up (Parker Posey? Bill Cody?). Whatever it is, a name that will live in Bears’ Meatball infamy.

    When he made that first field goal after the Eagles had called time out, I said to my sons: “He’s going to hit the upright on this one.”

    Little did I know that he would hit the upright and the crossbar…. and fall short. The physics do not seem possible.


  22. - Is it halftime yet - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 12:24 pm:

    Vote for me because my sportsball expertise fits right into government?

    Doesn’t move the chains for me. And the b- story of: “I’m a rich guy who made his money in investing, so I know how to run a government” - that’s hardly original either. Or exceptionally successful.

    But the deal-closer argument then is: “I have no experience relevant to the job and never paid attention to it but now I don’t like what’s been going on and I want to skip learning the ropes and paying my dues in the minor leagues and go right to the top… I’m sure I’ll figure it all out when I get there and apply my truly unique, home-town hero experience, ethics and values.”

    Well consider -me- sold. Where’s my checkbook?/s


  23. - Anonymous - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 12:28 pm:

    LOL at all the folks scoffing at Gradel’s qualifications for congress. Because Underwood’s qualifications are SO strong.


  24. - Hal - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 12:30 pm:

    Great news. 14 should be a Republican district.


  25. - City Zen - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 12:31 pm:

    He has just as much nursing experience as Underwood.


  26. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 12:35 pm:

    –Word- Followed your link. Don’t think the info is complete. You don’t get to be first team Academic All American with two extra points.–

    Upon further review, that is correct. Don’t know why College Football Reference doesn’t have his 1987 season, when he was the starting kicker.

    Thanks for the catch, sorry for the incomplete post, mea culpa.

    https://www.nytimes.com/1987/09/13/sports/michigan-upset-by-notre-dame.html


  27. - City Zen - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 12:41 pm:

    ==I want to skip learning the ropes and paying my dues in the minor leagues==

    What elected position did Underwood hold prior to running?


  28. - Bad Consultant Alert - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 12:42 pm:

    Mr Gradel better check Englander’s references. Start with Mark Klein in Galesburg who left the 17th cd race in 2017 after Chipper and the boys bled him.


  29. - redux - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 12:46 pm:

    Bad Consultant Alert is on to something there. How about that smashing success in the 2018 IL10 republican primary.


  30. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 12:48 pm:

    ===“He’s going to hit the upright on this one.”===

    Funny, I’m thinking the same thing about Gradel and his new career plans.


  31. - Pundent - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 12:54 pm:

    It seems that the Republicans feel that the way to take back the 6th and the 14th is by running (or maybe kicking) further to the right.


  32. - Ducky LaMoore - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 12:55 pm:

    ===Is the Illinois Republican Party really going to carry two kickers on its roster?===

    And 51 punters.


  33. - OneMan - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:03 pm:

    Suffice to say you don’t have worry about Nick Saban doing one of these for a kicker.

    If I was honest with myself, short of him being a U of I football player there is no team that makes me less likely to vote for a guy than ND, perhaps Duke.


  34. - redux - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:07 pm:

    On another note, one of the stronger candidates republicans (Gary Rabine) could field isn’t even thinking of running.


  35. - City Zen - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:09 pm:

    ==Suffice to say you don’t have worry about Nick Saban doing one of these for a kicker.==

    No, but he did one for a US Senator from West Virginia.

    https://collegefootballtalk.nbcsports.com/2018/10/18/watch-nick-saban-appears-in-campaign-ad-endorsing-u-s-senator-joe-manchin-d-wv/comment-page-1/


  36. - James - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:12 pm:

    Ted Gradel’s bio from the Metolius Capital website:

    Ted is a 30 year veteran of the futures industry and has traded exclusively for his own account since 1990 as well as privately investing in hedge funds and CTAs. Ted graduated from the University of Notre Dame in 1987 (BA major in English literature and minor in Economics). In his final year he was named NCAA First Team Academic All-American. Ted worked at Barnes & Co. in 1988 before becoming an independent trader on the CBOT (member since 1992) and the CME (member since 2001). He has actively traded most futures ‘off the floor’ since 2001 in a discretionary manner within his personal, systematic overlay.


  37. - 47th Ward - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:16 pm:

    ===Ted…and has traded exclusively for his own account since 1990===

    That should be his campaign slogan. He’ll fit right in with the rest of the GOP in DC.


  38. - Anon-I-Guess - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:17 pm:

    Not sure leading with a Trump-loving, immigrant-hating 100 year old white dude is going to win back the suburbs for the GOP.


  39. - eyeball - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:22 pm:

    Illinois Justice Thomas was a kicker for ND and the Bears. That’s all I’ve got.


  40. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:25 pm:

    I wouldn’t be surprised to see other Republicans jump in. It only takes a plurality to win a primary and get a shot in the general election.

    The district was drawn to be super-GOP. Hultgren ran an astoundingly lethargic and confused campaign.

    Trump will remain a millstone in the suburban precincts but the NRCC has to try and clawback somewhere. A GOP seat where they lost by five points very likely will be a priority.


  41. - Donnie Elgin - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:35 pm:

    “Not sure leading with a Trump-loving, immigrant-hating 100 year old white dude is going to win back the suburbs for the GOP”

    Holtz is a good choice as spokesperson in any Suburban District - he is a beloved hall of fame coach of Notre Dame - with a national championship to his name, and is currently a very popular ESPN college football analyst.


  42. - A guy - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:44 pm:

    Nicely done ad. Lou Holtz still has plenty of appeal. This seat is winnable, and I already like this guy more than the other two. And no, I don’t know this guy yet.


  43. - Lefty Lefty - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 1:53 pm:

    I’ve lived in this district for over 20 years. It’s a nice feeling to watch the wannabes line up to take on a candidate I voted for. Especially when some of them maintain that Rep. Underwood and her supporters are assaulting the free market system (not to mention attacking our freedoms and being socialist etc). This is crying for explanations that I don’t think will be forthcoming ay time soon.


  44. - Pundent - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 2:00 pm:

    =This seat is winnable=

    Says the guy who all but guaranteed a Roskam victory. Do you really think this is the district where yelling “socialism” is going to resonate?


  45. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 2:05 pm:

    –Says the guy who all but guaranteed a Roskam victory.–

    That’s unfair. Guy actually said Roskam would win by 10 or more points.

    Missed it by that much…


  46. - Notorious RBG - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 2:14 pm:

    - Norseman - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 11:54 am:

    Lot of red state baloney to spew in a suburban district.

    … in a far western suburban district that goes all the way up to some pretty heavily red areas of McHenry County… This has been a reliably republican district for 30+ years, with the exceptions being Obama winning by 1% in 2008 and bringing in Foster down-ticket, who held the seat for 4 years before losing to Hultgren. Obama actually lost the district to Romney in 2012 by 4%. I think the red state rhetoric will actually play in some areas here…


  47. - CT Resident - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 2:19 pm:

    -One year on the roster, two extra-point attempts. To be fair, he made them both.-

    That was his stats for 1986, his 1987 stats where he was indeed the top scorer on the team:

    https://www.sports-reference.com/cfb/players/tim-gradel-1.html


  48. - You Bet - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 2:29 pm:

    Running as an “outsider” has never been a better starting place . . . . .ever.

    Having a nationally recognized figure who knows him well that is also not a political figure is also helpful. Well played on day one.


  49. - A guy - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 2:31 pm:

    ==That’s unfair==

    Thanks for calling him out Sling. lol.
    This seat is winnable. So is the 6th.

    And Pund,
    I don’t know if they’re going to scream “Socialism” or not. But that district has been traditionally a conservative district, and as Sling pointed out, the incumbent ran a very lethargic campaign. While I (badly) missed the prediction on the 6th with plenty of odd dynamics going on; I don’t recall anyone here or elsewhere predicting the bloodbath in the 14th. National stuff plays a role. It really is far too early to know just what that will be.

    And Sling, I recall suggesting Rauner would win his first term and your very strong opinion he wouldn’t. Do you only keep track of the Yu Darvish side of the ledger or what? lol


  50. - La La Land - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 2:37 pm:

    Nice kick off ad. Should be a fun one to watch.


  51. - A guy - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 2:37 pm:

    And…confirm with Miller. I settled my bet! lol


  52. - The Bashful Raconteur - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 2:55 pm:

    Commenters who dismiss “inexperienced” citizens running for congress need to look at the number of them who won in 2018. I like this guy’s chances against Obie, Skills and “Slippin’ Sue” in a primary.


  53. - Shemp - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 3:01 pm:

    The roasting of this guy on here says more about the commenters than the candidate.


  54. - Pundent - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 3:02 pm:

    = I like this guy’s chances against Obie, Skills and “Slippin’ Sue” in a primary.=

    How many primaries is he planning on running in?


  55. - Shirley Miller - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 3:25 pm:

    “Main achievements: Underwood and Casten introduced a bill to ease the burden of new state and local tax deduction caps, a robust suburban issue.” Taken from the Sun Times.

    So both Underwood and Casten are working to lower citizens’ tax burden.


  56. - Morty1 - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 3:30 pm:

    He’s not Skillicorn or Oberweis…

    So he’s got that going for him


  57. - Anon324 - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 3:31 pm:

    Lou Holtz was an unabashed Jesse Helms supporter and endorsed Donald Trump. If Gradel fits that mold, his campaign will go about as well as Lou’s tenure as coach of the Jets.


  58. - wordslinger - Tuesday, Apr 23, 19 @ 4:16 pm:

    –And Sling, I recall suggesting Rauner would win his first term and your very strong opinion he wouldn’t.–

    No, you’ve said that many times, but every time you’ve been making it up. In his many runs for office, I never once thought Quinn was an odds-on favorite.


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