EFFINGHAM – Last week, a coalition of conservative reform Republican legislators and candidates came together in Effingham to lay out the case for leadership change and introduce a slate of new leaders running to structurally reform state government and radically renew Illinois’ political culture.
In introducing the group, State Representative Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton), a conservative reform Republican and former candidate for Governor, said the coalition represented the policy and leadership change that “must occur if Illinois is to become a vibrant haven for businesses and families.” She went on to say, “The fiscal disaster at the state and local level is a direct result of unaccountable power politics that have held sway over Illinois for decades.”
In describing the coalition, Ives stated, “These folks will be the new leaders, committed to mutual respect, decency and fiscal restraint.”
Two political action groups – Illinois Opportunity Project and Liberty Principles PAC – have expressed their support for the conservatives involved in the press conference.
Illinois Opportunity Project supports the conservative reform mission shared by Darren Bailey, Blaine Wilhour, Chris Miller and Dwight Kay, as well as a number of other reform-focused candidates across Illinois, spokesperson Kathleen Murphy told Illinois Review Monday.
Liberty Principles PAC, a separate entity, supported the candidacies of Miller, Bailey, Halbrook, Kay and Caulkins in terms of the downstate conservative reform legislators and legislative candidates who won their primaries in previous cycles such as Rep. Brad Halbrook and the 2018 primary.
Chris Miller, candidate for State Representative in House District 110, illustrated the dire situation in Illinois by saying, “Let’s face it, we’re about to go down the drain because of leadership… What we want to do is give people a voice that feel like they have no voice. We want to give them hope where they feel like there is no hope anymore. We want to restore Illinois.”
Blaine Wilhour, a conservative reformer running for State Representative in House District 107, outlined the case for leadership and culture change saying, “We cannot afford to elect placeholders. We need leaders. People with a vision. People who are bold. People who can think outside the box and aren’t afraid to rattle some cages.”
State Senator Kyle McCarter (R-Lebanon) described the coalition saying, “You have a group of leaders here today saying they’re not just looking for a job. They’re not just looking for something else to do in life… They’ve decided that the situation is so bad that someone has to step up and have the critical, crucial conversations about what could take this state down… have these tough conversations about the things that will cause more people to leave this state.”
Darren Bailey, running for State Representative in House District 109 as a conservative reformer, summed up the coalition’s mission by saying, “Certainly, we are going to Springfield with the utmost respect for the traditions and history of the House of Representatives, but I can assure you that we are not going to Springfield to stay silent… We’re going to stand up for the values and the principles of the people we represent.”
Those attending the press conference included
- Darren Bailey, Candidate for State Representative HD 109
- Blaine Wilhour, Candidate for State Representative HD 107
- Chris Miller, Candidate for State Representative HD 110
- Dwight Kay, Candidate for State Representative HD 112
- State Representative Jeanne Ives, House District 42’
- State Senator Kyle McCarter, Senate District 54
- State Representative Brad Halbrook, House District 102
- State Representative Tom Morrison, House District 54