|Name||Raymond G. Wardingley|
|Address||11012 South Hoyne Avenue |
Chicago, Illinois 60643, United States
|| February 13, 1935
Jul 27, 2011 10:10pm
|Info||Raymond G. Wardingley was born in the heart of depression-era Chicago, one of twelve children in a working class family. Unlike his opponent, Ray is a lifelong Chicagoan and has always worked hard to improve the city he loves. Ray was raised with strong Christian values, and attended St. Patrick’s Grammar School on Chicago’s south side. He graduated from Mendel Catholic High School in the 1950s, when the school was new and Chicago was still growing like wildfire. |
A proud patriot, Ray volunteered for the military and served America honorably in the Air Force from 1955 to 1957. During these years, Ray's hearing was damaged in the service of country-- being a disabled vet has shown Ray the plights of other veterans in situations far worse than him; and he has vowed to help Veterans should he have the honor of serving in Congress.
Ray Wardingley studied at the distinguished Goodman Theater for one year, where his college training turned Ray into a successful, self-man entertainer. Since 1962, Ray has entertained huge crowds and remains a feisty humorist and speaker. As the industry, population, and wealth of this area declined, Ray took notice. The plight of Chicago and its suburbs first caught Ray's attention in the mid 1970s, when both he and his current opponent began to have an interest in seeking public office.
From 1989 to 1992, Ray headed the Neighborhood Watch program in the Beverly-Morgan area, where Ray fought crime on a firsthand basis and realized the tough measures that need to be passed to control it and protect law-abiding citizens. Ray's background in entertainment brought him into the limelight as well. He once led a roller-skating rally from Chicago to Springfield to raise awareness and funds for children with Leukemia. And his so-called "clown act" was done not only for charity but brought joy to hundreds of sick children. Due to his deceive leadership in raising money for St. Jude's hospital; Ray received two awards from the State of Illinois.
Political activism, formerly a lark for Ray, became a serious endeavor when he won a surprise upset in the 1995 mayoral primary. With a victory over a much better known party insider, Chicago Republicans gave Ray a mandate to be their standard bearer against the incumbent machine. While Ray did not have the name recognition to reverse 60 years of Democratic rule, he nevertheless made an impressive showing in the race and received thousands of votes. Both Ray Wardingley and his current opponent for Congress have been unsuccessful candidates for mayor, but Ray did it on his own time while his opponent ignored the duties he had been elected too.
In 1999, Ray was nominated for Alderman in the 19th Ward and nearly defeated his Democrat opponent in an overwhelmingly Democratic city where only one of the 51 aldermen is a member of Ray's party. He went on to be twice nominated for Congressman against Bobby Rush when no Republican was willing to step forward and challenge a “safe” (though highly disliked) incumbent. With the redistricting that occurred after the 2000 census, the formerly compact Chicago district was altered to include areas as far southwest as Orland and Tinley Park. Ray ran the first active general election campaign in years and received high profile endorsements from groups like CapitolWatch, The Cook County Hispanic Assembly and state Senator Patrick O’Malley. Ray defeated Rush throughout most of the suburban areas in the 1st district, Democrat and Republican areas alike, surprising many political “experts” when an early exit polling nearly claimed him as the victor in 2002.
Now retired, Ray has settled down as a married man and is writing an autobiography. In the meantime, he has filed for Congress again and pledged to fight for the voters of the 1st District who demand new leadership. In 2003, Ray helped co-found C.R.O.S.S. (Co-alition for Restoring Social Standards) and made headlines for petitioning for the excommunication of Catholic politicians who vote against their own church’s non-negotiable moral positions. His Eminence Cardinal Francis George has taken the drive very seriously and recently issued an order to parish priests to refuse communion to one such group, a major victory for C.R.O.S.S. Unlike career politicians, Ray never got a cent from special interest groups-- he's even spent his own social security and veteran's check on the campaign to make up the difference. As always, Ray believes in a cause greater than himself.
Ray resides in the Beverly Hills community with his wife, Karen.