Farewell Chip Gerdes

-By Warner Todd Huston

If you are a Midwesterner–especially in Illinois and Missouri–and you are in any way connected with political campaigning, you’ve heard about or run across Chip Gerdes. A big bear of a guy, Gerdes was one of the two states’ most active background operatives.

Gerdes wasn’t an “out there” guy, not the sort of guy that people outside of the in-the-know world of political operatives would have met or heard of. Chip worked behind the scenes and his hand was evident in so many issue and candidate info campaigns in Illinois it was hard to keep track of them all. As Breitbart.com’s Joel Pollak said, “He was an Alinskyite–for the good guys.”

Chip was always very full of life, verve, and swagger. Ever ready to ride to the sound of the guns whenever conservatives in Illinois and Missouri needed him. And boy did he love what he did.

Whenever one encountered Gerdes he was gregarious with a slap to the back, a hearty handshake, a word about his latest campaign effort, and an offer to go get a drink at the earliest convenience.

Chip Gerdes was a gold mine for writers, too. He always had an inside scoop for you. He gave me quite a lot of tips for my Illinois politics page over the years and even though you knew it was half enthusiasm and half artifice, you always felt like an important part of his campaign when he called you with one of those tips.

Those who attended events like CPAC, Blogcon, or any of Freedomworks’ and Americans for Prosperity’s events or any number of Tea Party rallies, it was a good bet they would have seen Gerdes at some point. He attended everything.

He was also an associate of Andrew Breitbart and the Breitbart crew–such as myself. He was an invaluable source for insider information about what was going on in GOP circles in the region and passed on many a scoop to the writers and investigators.

Chip Gerdes, Dana Loesch, and Andrew Breitbart in 2010.

Chip Gerdes will be sorely missed. He was an energetic operative, a good and very loyal friend, and an invaluable ally.

Gerdes passed away early on Monday morning from a heart attack and at only in his early 40s. Our condolences to his family and friends.
“The only end of writing is to enable the reader better to enjoy life, or better to endure it.”
–Samuel Johnson

Warner Todd Huston is a Chicago based freelance writer. He has been writing opinion editorials and social criticism since early 2001 and before that he wrote articles on U.S. history for several small American magazines. His political columns are featured on many websites such as Andrew Breitbart’s BigGovernment.com, BigHollywood.com, and BigJournalism.com, as well as RightWingNews.com, RightPundits.com, CanadaFreePress.com, StoptheACLU.com, AmericanDaily.com, among many, many others. Mr. Huston is also endlessly amused that one of his articles formed the basis of an article in Germany’s Der Spiegel Magazine in 2008.

For a full bio, please CLICK HERE.

Copyright Publius Forum 2001