Brad J. Harriman (D-IL-12)

Brad J. Harriman (D-IL-12)


Brad J. Harriman Congressional Candidate Illinois District 12


Biography of Brad J. Harriman from Brad Harriman for Congress


A third generation, Illinoisan, Brad Harriman was born and raised in a working class Belleville family. Brad spent his entire adult life working in Belleville area public and Catholic schools – teaching, coaching, and serving at-risk youth. From 2006 through September 2011, Brad was the Regional Superintendent for St. Clair County, where he continued to coordinate County-wide at-risk student programs.

Brad is running for Congress because he believes that our children shouldn’t have to leave Central and Southern Illinois forever just to find jobs. Brad will be a strong voice to stop the endless partisan bickering in Washington, and put the focus on creating new jobs and lasting economic growth for the middle class here at home.

Brad’s working class roots run deep in the 12th Congressional District. His paternal grandfather was a coal miner who died tragically in a mine cave-in accident; his maternal grandfather was a world record holder in slow-fire pistol shooting and an Illinois State Trooper.

Brad’s father passed away in 1996. He was a pipefitter at the Monsanto chemical plant and a member of the International chemical workers union, local 12. He was unemployed from time to time, but worked odd jobs to always support his family. Brad’s family lived paycheck to paycheck, and he learned the value of hard work at a young age. Brad’s first job was as a dishwasher and he has worked odd jobs from construction worker to moving companies virtually every summer since he was sixteen years old, including all the way through his teaching career.

He remains extremely close to his mother, Kay, who took a job as a secretary when Brad was old enough to care for his two younger sisters after school. His mother currently lives in Belleville on a fixed income – relying on social security and Medicare.

Brad was a stand out athlete and all-star offensive lineman at Belleville East High School. He would have not have been able to afford college right after high school without a full football scholarship to Western Illinois. Brad finished his playing career at the University of Missouri – Rolla, and became the first of his family to attend college, earning a degree from Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville. Brad signed professional football contracts with both the Atlanta Falcons (1977) and Buffalo Bills (1978) of the NFL before returning home to Belleville to begin his teaching career in 1978. Brad met his wife Karen on a blind date when she was a cheerleader for the St. Louis Cardinals football team. They have been married for 23 years and live in O’Fallon.

Brad spent 13 years teaching and coaching at Althoff Catholic High School school, where he helped lead the football team to three state championships and was named IBCA Coach of the Year for his efforts in coaching basketball. He left Althoff to teach at the St. Clair County Juvenile Detention Center where he taught incarcerated youth. In 2006 Brad was selected as the Regional Superintendent for St. Clair County, where he spearheaded the creation of a new school for at-risk students and coordinated all at-risk student services. He served in the post through September of this year.

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