• Candidates at McLean County Republicans Picnic

    McLean County Republicans are delighted to announce that three prominent campaigners will present stump speeches at the party’s 12th Annual Republican Picnic on Sunday, September 18. According the MCGOP Chair Connie Beard, “There will be a lineup of three speakers plus, perhaps, a surprise or two.” 

    Scheduled speakers are as follows: Kathy Salvi, Candidate for U.S. Senate for the State of Illinois; Darin LaHood, U.S. Representative for the Illinois 18th Congressional District; Desi Anderson, Candidate for Illinois State Senate District 46, and Esther Joy King, Candidate to Congress for Illinois District 17.. Several other political campaigners have yet to confirm their presence.

    This event will be a fantastic opportunity for like-minded Republicans to gather for a bit of fun near summer's end. Attendees will experience fine barbecue, get involved in an online silent auction, play some games, and participate in a raffle and 50/50 drawing if so inclined.

    To learn more about the picnic reservations and to purchase meal tickets that include admission to the event, go to Please note that there will be no on-site meal ticket sales. Ticket purchases must be made online by September 15.

  • McLean County Republicans To Hold Annual Picnic

    McLean County Republicans will host their 12th annual picnic for family and friends on Sunday, September 18th, 2022. This fun and family friendly event will be held at the George and Jeanie Wendt historic farmhouse, 9856 N. 1540 East Rd., Bloomington - a decidedly bucolic setting. Activities will run from 4:00 PM to 7:30 PM. Admission is by paid meal ticket only. Meal tickets must be purchased by September 15th.
    This event is a wonderful opportunity for Republicans and like-minded individuals to gather for fun near summer's end. Participants will experience fine barbecue, participate in an online silent auction, handgun raffle and 50/50 drawing, play games, and hear fine music.
    All frivolity aside, participants will also engage in serious discussions and hear stump speeches about the autumn campaign season from Republican candidates. The effect of all this is to supercharge attendees to get involved in this autumn’s election campaigns. The public is invited. To learn more and to get your meal and raffle tickets, click here!

  • Republicans Oppose Radical Candidate Nomination

    McLean County Republicans are expressing a strong objection to having candidate Krystal Able seated on the McLean County Board. Able applied for temporary placement on the Board that was created when District 4 Democrat Matt Coates stepped down. Her application was reviewed by the McLean County Board on August 10. 

    McLean County Fraternal Order of Police Lodge 176 President Cory Wills strongly opposed Able's seating on the Board at the August 10 meeting. Wills said that Able would “cause great division within the community,” according to the records of the meeting.  Wills cited several of Able’s social media posts which advocated the defunding of police and elimination of Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). Able indicated at the hearing that she is a proponent of the SAFE-T Act (Safety, Accountability, Fairness, and Equity-Today) that will become law in January. The Act will, among other things, end cash bail and turn the criminal justice system into a revolving door for criminals. The Act is strongly opposed by many in law enforcement and the judiciary. 

    McLean County Republican’s Chair Connie Beard weighed in on Able’s candidacy. “Abel is a radical and in fact, an extremist. We don’t need additional calls for action that decreases public safety.” Beard further noted, "Every County Democrat Board member that night voted to support Able and her radical positions and in doing so showed their true colors.” 

    The only District 4 Democrat to apply for Coates’ open position, Able’s seating was blocked on August 10 by an 8-to-7 party-line vote. The question of seating her will come up again on August 26 as County Board Chair John McIntyre seeks to find Coates’ replacement.

    Republicans are quick to point out that “the Democrats serving on our board or running for office are not your traditional JFK Democrats,” according to Beard. “They are radicals who threaten public safety with cuts in funding. The new SAFE-T Act allows for suspects who are arrested for assault and battery, robbery, intimidation of elderly, trespassing and any number of serious crimes, to be booked then released that same day. This does not make our communities safer. “

    Able has also filed to run for one of two open Board positions in McLean County District 4 during the November General Election. Republicans Steve Harsh and Jerry Klinker are on the ballot to fill the two open positions.

  • Are McLean County Republicans Trying To Eliminate Cooperative Extension, 4-H?

    Democrats cry foul as McLean County Republicans consider temporary budget cut.

    BLOOMINGTON, ILLINOIS, August 2, 2022 — Some Democrats are crying foul as McLean County Board Republicans consider a temporary budget reduction for Cooperative Extension. Republican Board member and Extension Committee member Jim Soeldner spoke about the issue this morning during Coffee & Conversation at the Republican headquarters.

    Mr. Soeldner explained that the local unit of the U of I Cooperative Extension provides services to the citizens and youth of McLean, Livingston, and Woodford Counties and noted that the three County Boards are each responsible for part of the Cooperative Extension budget. Soeldner stated, "In the past, Extension has requested $500,000-$550,000 for their annual budget from a tax levy. They currently have a $2.7 million surplus and a $1.3 million yearly budget."

    According to Soeldner, the current surplus is enough to operate the local unit of Cooperative Extension with its 30 employees for about two years without significant additional funding. While the Extension Service would like local units to hold 1.5 years of funding in escrow in the event of a state-level cut in funding or a failure to pass a state budget, any such funding cuts would come from a Democrat-controlled legislature. Soeldner also noted that several posts on the Democrat Party Facebook page are misconstruing the situation. He emphasized the McLean County Republicans are not trying to eliminate or even cut back Cooperative Extension as a result of proposed cuts in appropriations for next year. All three Republican members of the Cooperative Extension Committee are staunch supporters of Cooperative Extension and former 4-H members. Soeldner quipped, “The situation is much like a school board asking for more money when they already have more than enough money to operate.”

    Story continues.

  • Republican County Board Candidates

    Chairman Connie Beard
    August 2, 2022


    Despite partisan action on the part of the local Democrats taken in April to deprive voters of a voice, there will be nineteen county board candidates representing the McLean County Republicans on the ballot in November. Chairman Connie Beard stated, “It has been a busy summer for the Republican Party of McLean County starting with the results of the primary election on June 28 that created a large platform to launch a path to victory in November from the county level up to the state level and beyond to the halls of Congress.”

    In April, local Democrats wasted time and taxpayer money to knock Republicans off of the ballot. All those removed were returned to their place on the November ballot. Secured by a vigorous write-in campaign, incumbent John McIntrye and Hannah Blumenshine will represent District 5, while Catherine Metsker will return to the ballot to represent District 1. First-time candidates Gary Stevens and Vicki Schultz also earned their spots on the ballot with write-in votes for District 8. Today’s announcement includes news that Annette Fellows returns to the ballot as she has been slated through a caucus to serve in the open spot on the Republican ticket for County Board District 9 alongside incumbent Susan Schafer. 

    Also slated by caucus was Ross Webb who will serve as a Republican candidate along with incumbent Chuck Erickson for the two seats up for election in District 10. 

    The party is also happy to announce a third appointment as Eduardo Monk, an Illinois State University student and president of the College Republicans of ISU, has been slated to run for a seat in District 6. 

    These county candidates join Adam Reeves in District 1, George Wendt and Lyndsay Bloomfield in District 3, Jerry Klinkner and Steve Harsh in District 4, and Geoff Tompkins and Don Crop in District 7

    Since the Republican Party won the lottery for ballot placement, the Republican County board candidates are to be listed first on the ballots. That placement also applies to the three county wide candidates: County Clerk Kathy Michael; County Treasurer Rebecca McNeil; and candidate for County Sheriff, Deputy Sheriff Matt Lane.

    “We believe voters in McLean County are looking for candidates that will work for their public safety, build a strong community, and work to earn their trust. They will find that in these candidates,” said Chairman Beard.

  • McLean County Republicans Host County Convention

    Heyworth, IL—The McLean County Republican Party hosted the 2022 County Convention at The Hesed House Venue on July 27, 2022. The venue was generously provided by Illinois State Senate Candidate Desi Anderson and her husband Nick. The convention brought together precinct committepersons from across the county to conduct the official business of the party and highlight the McLean County GOP’s commitment to the principles of safety, community, and trust in advance of the November General Election.

    As part of the course of the convention, Connie Beard was unanimously reelected as chairwoman of the party for another two-year term. Additionally, Dennis Grundler was elected to serve as First Vice Chairman, Carl Haney as Treasurer, and Bruce Hany as Secretary. Composing the rest of the Executive Board, David Blumenshine was elected to represent the Normal Division, Matt Steinkoenig to represent Bloomington North, Jim Snyder to represent Bloomington South, George Wendt to represent County West, and Adam Reeves to represent County East. Appointed by Chairwoman Beard were Vice Chair of Communications Carl Wenning, Vice Chair of Elections Jim Fisher, Vice Chair of Precinct Affairs John Parrott, Vice Chair of Community Outreach Sue Fiene, Vice Chair at Large - Brandon Hepner, and Chairman Emeritus Chuck Erickson.

    Chairwoman Beard spoke to the convention about the strength of the party and the importance of the upcoming election to the future of the county. Each member in attendance must draw from their own personal source of hope, she said, to continue the vital efforts of strengthening our communities. The evening concluded with a beautiful musical performance by Francesca Marguerite of Plainfield, Illinois.

  • Republicans Consider Normal Sign Ordinance

    Ordinance change might have freedom of speech implications.

    NORMAL, ILLINOIS, July 21 — In light of great public interest in the Town of Normal's proposed new restrictions on temporary signs, the McLean County Republicans will be hosting a discussion about the topic to help facilitate and coordinate a response.

    Sign ordinances have a long history of political opposition from within communities due to First Amendment implications for political parties and their candidates, everyday citizens, and businesses. Republicans from Normal are interested in learning about important public interests that the proposed ordinance is designed to address along with any legal ramifications.

    Anyone from Normal or any interested party is welcome to attend on Tuesday, July 26, at 6:30 pm at the McLean County GOP's headquarters. Those wishing to attend are asked to RSVP through the MCGOP website at:

  • Special Coffee and Conversation July 12

    Join us for coffee and conversation on Tuesday, July 12 from 10 am to 12 pm. Our featured guest will be State Central Committeewoman Jan Weber. Jan represents part of our county at the State Central Committee of the Illinois Republican Party. She will be up for election by our county precinct committeemen at the county convention on July 28. Jan will give an overview of the function of the Illinois GOP and answer questions about the role of a State Central Committeeman. 

  • 4th of July Republican Style 2022

    We had a wonderful 4th of July Republican Style walking with our float in three 4th of July parades, Towanda, Downs and Chenoa. There were a great number of walkers and so many Republican candidates taking part, such as State Senator Sally Turner, State Senator Jason Barickman, State Rep Dan Caulkins and State Representative Tom Bennett. A special thanks to Brandon Hepner and Kevin Lower who helped with logistics, and a shout-out to all the volunteers that walked with our County GOP float, and other entries for Gubernatorial candidate Darren Bailey, US Senate candidate Kathy Salvi, Secretary of State Candidate Dan Brady, County Board Candidates Vicki Schultz, Jerry Klinkner, Jim Soeldner, Bill Friedrich and Ross Webb. Together we can restore our state and protect our county.

  • Focus on Mental Health Needs Instead Gun Control

    McLean County Republican party chairman has released a statement in the wake of the Chicago 4th of July shootings