Ward Room
Covering Chicago's nine political influencers

PHOTOS: What Your Candidates Drive to Work

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PHOTOS: What Your Candidates Drive to Work

This year, Gov. Pat Quinn has made automobile ownership an issue in the Illinois governor’s race.

He released an ad revealing that his opponent, millionaire Bill Brady, owns a Porsche. A candidate’s car is important. If you’re a Ford guy, you don’t want to vote for someone who owns a Chevy.

So here are our politicians’ whips. Note: All images are generic, but wouldn't it be nice if our politicians drove their vehicles against such dramatic vistas and nicely manicured lawns.

BILL BRADY: Brady owns a Porsche, but you won’t see around Illinois. He keeps it at his Florida vacation home. Also, according to his staff “it’s ten years old,” so it’s not that nice. When Brady is among his constituents, he flosses a Jeep -- the kind of semi-rugged vehicle that a homebuilding businessman drives to distinguish himself from his full-rugged, F-150-driving employees.

 “I don’t drive much, but I have a Jeep Cherokee,” Brady told Carol Marin on Chicago Tonight back in May. "We travel a lot and with the new law where you can’t text while you are driving ... ”


PAT QUINN: The governor’s taste in cars is flashy as his taste in clothes. He drives a flex fuel Chevy Impala. “The fanciest thing about it is it’s champagne colored,” says spokeswoman Mica Matsoff.


 RICH WHITNEY: The Green Party candidate is not as environmentally aware as the governor, at least when it comes to cars. Whitney drives a 1998 Mercury Mystique with 240,000 miles. “But the ‘car’ that he usually rides in is public mass transit: AmTrak, Metra and CTA, and Metrolink in the St. Louis Metro East area,” says campaign manager Jennifer Janasie. “Rich has ridden on every CTA line and most of the Metra lines, and he does it regularly. He only drives when he has to.”


MARK KIRK: In Illinois, Kirk drives a 1998 Ford Explorer. In D.C., it’s a 1988 Toyota MR2.

LEALAN JONES: The Green Party Senate nominee owns a green BMW, which he bought with proceeds from his book Our America: Life and Death on the South Side of Chicago. That book came out in 1998, so the BMW has “serious suspension problems and he doesn’t have the money to fix it, so he pretty much parks it in front of his house,” said a campaign spokesman. “He used to ride a bike, but it got stolen from the back of his car.”


MIKE LABNO: The Libertarian candidate for Senate owns a 1997 Toyota RAV4. If elected, he promises to buy American. “I’ve always been an American guy,” he said. “I got married, actually gave my Oldsmobile away. My wife and I were driving her Toyota. Now we’re divorced and this is all I got left.”


 ALEXI GIANNOULIAS: Giannoulias drives a Ford Escape hybrid SUV. No, not this Ford Escape.

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