Political, civic activist Larry Horist leaving Illinois for Florida

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A little piece of political and civic history is leaving Illinois this week.

Larry P. Horist, who ran Steve Forbes’ 1996 campaign in Illinois and was a political strategist in Michael Flanagan’s win over Dan Rostenkowski – and who lost to Spanky the Clown in the 1995 Chicago mayoral primary – says he is moving to Florida.

Back in the 1980s, when he was executive director of the City Club of Chicago, he helped lead the campaign to save the Chicago Theatre.

As president of a group called Public Policy Caucuses, he and his group gave out the Tammany Toad Award “for extraordinary disservice to the American political system and the tax-paying public.” Rod Blagojevich was a winner even before he was indicted. Horist also was executive director of the United Republican Fund.

Horist also is a former press secretary for Ed Vrdolyak, James O’Grady and former mayor Gene Sawyer.

He now is president of Thomas & Joyce, which bills itself as a “strategic problem solving company.”

UPDATE: Returning a phone call, Horist said today that among his top accomplishments was helping to save the Chicago Theatre and helping to revive the City Club. He said he plans to do more writing, both reviving his blogs and writing books, while continuing to do some consulting.

He couldn’t resist a parting shot at Chicago politics, saying the city has one-party rule and “operates like a banana republic.”

“I leave Chicago with mixed feelings,” he said.

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