A Publication of WTVP

40 Leaders Under Forty

Luke Wolff, Age 27

Press Secretary for Congressman Darin LaHood, U.S. House of Representatives

Luke Wolff

“Luke has made an impact in Peoria after only living here for a short time. He moved here from the (Chicago) suburbs with practically no connections or friends to build off of. … He has done everything he can to fully integrate himself into the community,” said his nominator. “Leaders in the community seek his input … and Luke has climbed his way up the political ladder.”

Wolff serves on the Peoria Passenger Rail Service Leadership Committee, which is dedicated to getting passenger rail service from Peoria to Chicago. He also has lent a hand to the New Philadelphia Association in Pike County, which is looking to get a national park designation while already earning National Historic Landmark status.

Meanwhile, Wolff has served as a campaign manager on several races around the area at all levels of government. He is trusted to control a budget, hire staff and interns, and handle the day-to-day operations. He also has been the Peoria County Republican Central Committee’s first-ever executive director the past two years.

Outside work, he has been active in Big Brothers Big Sisters of America and Midwest Food Bank.

Childhood ambition: “I always wanted to be … a soccer player. Unfortunately, I think that ship has sailed! My backup plan is to win the lottery and invest in becoming a professional golfer.”

Bucket list priority: “I have always wanted to give a TED Talk.”

Best advice: “One of the best quotes I have heard is from the TV show Ted Lasso. ‘Be curious, not judgmental’ is a great way to model your life. I think people are too afraid to ask questions or embrace differences they have with someone else because of how polarized society has become nowadays.”

Motivating social issue: “Crime is at the top of the list for me. I don’t think it should be partisan or political when people’s lives are at stake. I also think crime is what holds a lot of cities back, including Peoria, from growing to their full potential. … I personally believe there are obvious solutions that are not being implemented.”

Book recommendation: Tuesdays with Morrie.”

Local inspiration: “JD Dalfonso, the CEO of Discover Peoria, does a tremendous job attracting tourism and people to Peoria to experience what we have to offer.”

‘Leaders in the community seek his input … and Luke has climbed his way up the political ladder’ — Luke Wolff nominator