Our friend Chip Gerdes passed away suddenly this morning. He was a close friend of Andrew Breitbart’s and a good friend to Breitbart News and grassroots conservatives everywhere.
If you’ve ever been to CPAC, or attended a Tea Party rally in the Midwest, or volunteered on a congressional campaign in Illinois or Missouri, chances are you’ve run into Chip. He was unforgettable.
Chip did what few of us conservatives do. He got offline and onto the street, pounding the pavement and fighting the war election by election, voter by voter. He was an Alinskyite–for the good guys.
He was a master of the dark arts of politics. I remember being both highly amused and shocked by a prank he once told me about (which shall remain secret). It was classic Chip–daring, with a sharp sense of humor.
The Tea Party’s success in the Midwest 2010 would not have been what it was without Chip. He knew every race in that election inside and out, often better than the candidates themselves.
Chip was also a bon vivant, the life of every party. And he treated every friend with love and respect. He was there to comfort us at Andrew’s funeral and to help us in the weeks and months that followed.
He will be missed by all who knew him. I will miss his urgent tips and updates, his smile and larger-than-life laughter. All of us at Breitbart mourn Chip today. Look for more tributes to follow.
Update: Two tributes from Illinois. Veteran activist Paul Miller: “Chip was a dedicated activist who was always about the cause not the credit.” Former gubernatorial candidate Adam Andrzejewski: “He was a fighter with a big heart who knew how to win campaigns while smiling all the way.”