News

  • F.O.P. Lodge #176 Endorses Republican Candidates for McLean County Board

    McLean County Deputies F.O.P. Lodge #176 has announced endorsement of the following Republican candidates running for the McLean County Board:

    District 1:

    Adam Reeves

    Catherine Metsker

     

    District 2: 

    James Soeldner

     

    District 3: 

    George Wendt

     

    District 4: 

    Jerry Klinkner

    Steve Harsh

     

    District 5: 

    John McIntyre

    Hannah Blumenshine

    District 6: 

    Eduardo Monk Jr. 

     

    District 7: 

    Geoff Tompkins

    Donald Crop

     

    District 8:

    Gary Stevens

     

    District 9:

    Susan Schafer

    Annette Fellows

     

    District 10:

    Chuck Erickson

    Ross Webb

     

    Endorsements are public statements giving approval or support for candidates running for office. McLean County Republicans stands behind all of our candidates for public office and encourage support at the ballot box in the upcoming election. 

  • Republicans Go On Record Supporting Normal’s Districting Effort

    The McLean County Republican Executive Board voted unanimously earlier this week to support the Districting Normal effort. A grass-roots bipartisan effort of Citizens for a Districting Normal, a petition calling for the partitioning of Normal into six districts, with one trustee elected from each district, was delivered to the Normal Clerk’s office on August 8. Normal resident Patrick Dullard subsequently challenged the petition. 

    Following a public hearing, the Normal Election Board consisting of Mayor Chris Koos, Trustee Kevin McCarthy, and Clerk Angelia Huonker, denied the request of 2,193 voters to put the question of districting Normal on the November 8 ballot. The referendum would provide better representation and greater accountability, according to the petition's proponents. It appears that more than two thousand signatories agreed.

    According to one of the petition’s proponents, GOP Normal Precinct 3 Committeeman Carl Wenning stated, “This issue will become a political albatross around the necks of anyone who opposes it. Voters with a stake in the outcome will long remember decisions to prevent citizens of Normal from having a vote on the matter.” 

    MCGOP Chairman Connie Beard stated, “To have tax dollars used to fight against the voice of the people is alarming. As Republicans, we believe all voters should have a voice in how they are governed. I encourage those who wish to have this come to the ballot box to support this work by sending a check to Citizens for Districting Normal, 21 Grandview Drive, Normal, IL  61761-4071.”

    Citizens for Districting Normal has retained attorney David Shestokas to defend their petition. Mr. Shestokas affirms that Mr. Dullard’s objections to the petition are null and void. Dullard claimed that the petition was invalid for reasons dealing with whether Normal is a town according to the Illinois Municipal Code and the validity of signatures. The Election Board rejected Dullard's claim of the latter. The issue is headed to court and will be heard on September 16. Hopefully, this issue will be resolved in time for the November 8 General Election. You can read more about this effort at https://betternormal-il.com/.

  • Republicans Go on Record Opposing Amendment 1

    The McLean County Republicans Executive Board met this week and went on record as unanimously opposing the passage of Illinois Constitutional Amendment 1. The Amendment will appear on the November 8th General Election ballot. Amendment 1, the Illinois Right to Collective Bargaining Measure, would provide a right to collective bargaining and preempt existing right-to-work laws that prohibit collective bargaining agreements that require union membership as a condition of employment. McLean County Republicans (MCGOP) urge a NO vote on Amendment 1.

    A “no” vote opposes establishing a state constitutional right for government employees to organize and bargain collectively to negotiate “wages, hours, and working conditions and to protect their economic welfare and safety at work.” There are many reasons MCGOP opposes Amendment 1, but primarily because its passage would mean higher taxes and debt, and Illinois is becoming an even worse place to do business.

    According to the Illinois Policy Institute, “Amendment 1 would guarantee that the typical Illinois family pays at least $2,149 in higher property tax bills over the next four years, no matter which politicians hold office or whether they follow through on their campaign promises. This is a conservative estimate, assuming the rapid growth of Illinois’ property tax burden holds steady. It’s likely property taxes would grow at an even faster rate, because Amendment 1 would give Illinois government unions unprecedented bargaining powers that don’t exist in any other state.”

    The Wall Street Journal Editorial Board recently noted, “Public unions already dominate government in Illinois, and Democratic lawmakers now want to amend the constitution to entrench that power and block reforms. Those are the stakes of Amendment 1, which will appear on the November ballot.” 

    According to the MCGOP, if Amendment 1 passes, there will be grave consequences:

    1. It will make Illinois the nation's extreme outlier when giving government unions power over taxpayers. 
    2. Passage will ensure that Illinoisans’ property taxes will rise. 
    3. The Amendment will deprive parents of their right to have a say in their children’s education. 
    4. Amendment 1 will force private sector workers to join unions as a condition of employment.
    5. Passage means more small businesses and entrepreneurs will flee Illinois.
  • 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 https://one.bidpal.net/mcgoppicnic/. 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

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
    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:

    https://www.mcleancountyrepublicans.org/normal_sign_ordinance_discussion