WASHINGTON - February 20 - Officials of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence today announced the organization's first candidate endorsement of the year for the 2006 election season, and strongly urged the voters of Illinois' 33rd Senate District to elect Dan Kotowski to the Illinois State Senate.
"For the families of Illinois, it's doubtful there could be a more upright, energetic and passionate person asking to be allowed to serve than my friend Dan Kotowski," said Michael D. Barnes, President of the Brady Campaign and a former member of Congress. "He has dedicated a large part of his life to helping others."
Kotowski, who was born and raised in Illinois and graduated from the University of Illinois, is a former executive director of the Illnois Council Against Handgun Violence. He has most recently served as Vice President of Development and Public Affairs for the Uhlich Children's Advantage Network, a 137-year- old human services organization affiliated with the St. Paul's United Church of Christ.
"Based on his experience as a father, as a husband and as a community leader, I know that Dan Kotowski would be a public servant for the families of Illinois, not the special interests," said James Brady, the Illinois native who was wounded in the assassination attempt on President Ronald Reagan 25 years ago next month. "In Springfield, he'll fight to make Illinois communities safer for our children.
Kotowski was notified of the endorsement last week.
"It has been my mission to protect children and families from gun violence by helping to pass sensible gun safety laws," Kotowski said. "I am honored to be recognized for my dedication and record of success by the Brady Campaign. Jim and Sarah Brady have long been heroes of mine and I plan to advance our common goals as the next State Senator from the 33rd district of Illinois."
The Brady Campaign's Illinois State Director, Jennifer Bishop, who is a gun violence victim, said the organization intends to actively campaign for Kotowski from now through Election Day.
"Gun violence victims in the state are very excited and grateful for his candidacy," Bishop said. "We cannot imagine much that could be more positive for Illinois families than getting Dan, and others like him, into the Legislature."
As the nation's largest, non-partisan, grassroots organization leading the fight to prevent gun violence, the Brady Campaign, working with its dedicated network of Million Mom March Chapters, is devoted to creating an America free from gun violence, where all Americans are safe at home, at school, at work, and in our communities.