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Michael J. Bakalis’ ran for governor of Illinois in 1978. He and his running mate, Dick Durbin, faced stiff opposition from Republican incumbent James R. “Big Jim” Thompson. Thompson handily won and his victory margin of 596,550 votes set the record for an incumbent in an Illinois gubernatorial contest.
Bakalis went on to serve as Deputy Undersecretary of Education for the United States from 1980-1982, serving under presidents Carter and Reagan. Bakalis again made a brief attempt to run for governor in 2002, but failed to secure enough funding to compete.
Our Campaigns. (2011). IL Governor- D Primary. Retrieved from https://www.ourcampaigns.com/RaceDetail.html?RaceID=121642