It’s not every day that a Nobel Prize winner becomes involved in a U.S. election, but Lech Walesa — famed for his Cold War leadership of the Solidarity movement in Poland — will be campaigning this week for a GOP gubernatorial candidate in Illinois.
The former Polish president will be the keynote speaker Friday at a Chicago luncheon fundraiser for Adam Andrzejewski, one of five Republican candidates for governor in Illinois.
“I applaud Mr. Andrzejewski’s commendable effort to bring real reform to politics,” Walesa wrote in a letter endorsing the 40-year-old businessman. “His insistence on transparency in public life are badly needed not only in the great state of Illinois, but in any democracy.”
Andrzejewski is seeking the seat previously held by impeached Democrat Rod Blagojevich and currently held by Pat Quinn. He is backed by many Tea Party activists and has never previously held elective office — a point in his favor, according to Walesa.
“I have heard that Adam’s opponents criticize his lack of political experience,” Walesa said. “I still remember when some 30 years ago, my opponents were similarly critical of my lack of political background. History has shown, however, that in order to create real change, new factors are sometimes necessary.”