Clem Balanoff

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Clem Balanoff
Member of the Illinois House of Representatives from the 32nd district
35th district (1989-1993)
In office
January 1989 – January 1995
Preceded bySam Panayotovich
Succeeded byConstance A. Howard
Personal details
Clement Balanoff, Jr.

(1953-04-16) April 16, 1953 (age 66)
Chicago, Illinois
Political partyDemocratic
ResidenceChicago, Illinois
Alma materRipon College

Clement Balanoff, Jr. is an American politician who served as a Democratic member of the Illinois House of Representatives from 1989 to 1995.


He was born April 16, 1953 in Chicago to a politically active family.[1] His father Clem Balanoff, Sr. was a prominent union organizer and his mother Miriam Balanoff would become a circuit court judge.[2] In 1981, Clem moved to California for five years, where he worked as an aide for Congressman Matthew Martínez and later Congressman Esteban Torres.[3] He returned to Illinois to take a job as the 10th Ward Superintendent, responsible for garbage pickup and other city services.[4] A year later when Ed Vrdolyak defected to the Republican Party, Balanoff became the Democratic Committeeman for the 10th ward.[5][6]

In 1988, he defeated incumbent Sam Panayotovich, who had defected to the Republican Party with Vrdolyak.[5] In 1991, he ran for Alderman in a field of ten opponents losing to John Buchanan, who previously served in the role in the 1960s and 1970s. In 1994, he was one of five candidates who ran in the Democratic primary to succeed retiring incumbent George Sangmeister. Frank Giglio, a fellow member of the Illinois House, won the Democratic primary. Frank Giglio was defeated in the general election by Jerry Weller. In 1996, Balanoff was Weller's opponent losing by a three percentage point margin. He explored a rematch in 1998, but chose to run for a seat on the Cook County Board Of Review instead before dropping out prior to the primary.[7]

His post-electoral career has included stints as Chief of Staff to the Cook County Clerk, a strategist for the mayoral campaign of Chuy García and Illinois state director for the presidential campaign of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders.[8]

At the 2016 Democratic National Convention Balanoff read the vote totals for Senator Sanders' Illinois campaign.[9] As of August 2017, Balanoff is the executive director for the Illinois chapter of Our Revolution; a pro-Sanders organization.[10] Balanoff served as the co-chair of Ameya Pawar's campaign for Chicago City Treasurer in the 2019 municipal election[11] and will serve as the campaign manager of Abdelnasser Rashid's campaign for the Cook County Board of Review in 2020.[12]


  1. ^ 'Illinois Blue Book 1989-1990,' Biographical Sketch of Clement Balanoff, pg. 81
  2. ^ Janega, James (July 2, 2002). "Clement Balanoff Sr., 76: `Activists' activist,' dedicated union organizer". Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Illinois. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  3. ^ Fremon, David K. (October 22, 1988). Chicago Politics Ward by Ward. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press. p. 82. ISBN 0-253-31344-9. Retrieved March 13, 2017.
  4. ^ Klemens, Michael D. (January 15, 1989). "Lawmakers' Class of '88: One Bona Fide Surprise". Illinois Issues. Sangamon State University. pp. 19–21. Retrieved December 25, 2017.
  5. ^ a b Kass, John (February 21, 1991). "Alderman May Be Goal Of Balanoff". Chicago Tribune. Chicago, Illinois. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  6. ^ Joravsky, Ben (February 21, 1991). "Aldermania: Unabashed Notes on Six Selected Ward Races". Chicago Reader. Chicago, Illinois. Retrieved July 7, 2017.
  7. ^ Stevens, Susan (December 24, 1997). "Clem Balanoff withdraws from 11th District race". The Times of Northwest Indiana. Munster, Indiana. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  8. ^ Euceph, Misha (March 16, 2016). "Clem Balanoff takes his bike parade on the roads of Illinois for Sanders". Medill News Service. Evanston, Illinois: Medill School of Journalism. Retrieved July 8, 2017.
  9. ^ Sweet, Lynn (June 22, 2017). "Illinois roll call: Hillary pal Betsy Ebeling, Clem Balanoff". Chicago Sun Times. Chicago, Illinois. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
  10. ^ Black, Curtis (April 20, 2017). "Harnessing Bernie Sanders' energy to revolutionize the Democratic party". The Chicago Reporter. Chicago, Illinois. Retrieved August 25, 2017.
  11. ^ Kapos, Shia; Hurst, Adrienne (January 7, 2019). "CLEM BALANOFF will co-chair AMEYA PAWAR'S campaign". Politico Playbook. Retrieved January 7, 2019.
  12. ^ Kapos, Shia; Hurst, Adrienne (October 1, 2019). "CPS makes offer, CTU balks — RASHID eyes Board of Review — ARENA, HEALEY power moves". Politico Illinois Playbook. Retrieved October 1, 2019.