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HomeIllinois NewsWhere’s Weyermuller? Mingling with DuPage County GOPers

Where’s Weyermuller? Mingling with DuPage County GOPers




By Mark Weyermuller –

“The reports of my death are greatly exaggerated.” 

Perhaps that famous quote from Mark Twain in 1897 should be the theme of the Illinois Republican Party in 2019. After bad losses in the 2018 elections, many have declared the IL GOP dead. Under new leadership of Democrat J.B.  Pritzker as governor and super majorities in the Illinois General Assembly, many say a huge tax and socialist agenda will go into overdrive. 

Well, there might be some hope as the Republicans rebuild in the post-Rauner era. On Friday, over 600 hundred of the IL GOP faithful gathered for the annual DuPage Republican Lincoln Day Dinner.  It was held at the Drury Lane Theater in Oakbrook, Illinois. Brian Krajewski is the chairman of the DuPage GOP.

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The program started out with introductions, the pledge of allegiance, and a wonderful rendition of the national anthem by Robyn Vitson. Dan Goodwin from Inland Reality gave opening remarks. He is pro-life and has been big supporter of the Illinois Republican Party. Indicating he was expressing his own opinion, and not the DuPage GOP's, he said the IL GOP might have to move more to the middle to win elections in Illinois. In other words, the party should moderate.

These are some of the issues in contention among the IL GOP faithful:  

  • Abortion
  • 2nd amendment 
  • Border wall
  • Illinois new minimum wage 
  • President Donald J Trump

Some party leaders have indicated the IL GOP might have to take surveys of what Republicans believe and want for Illinois. Some Illinois Republicans do not wish to highlight these subjects. 

Many in the state – especially the conservative base – wants the party to ramp it up on these issues. The fact the Peter Roskam and Randy Hultgren lost their Congressional re-elections indicates they played it too close to the vest trying to be “moderate.”  

The days of Jim Edgar, Bruce Rauner, and Mark Kirk are over. To win elections in the future, Republicans need to go back to traditional values. Socialism and expansion of government with more  tax, spend, regulate, and borrow needs to be shown that it doesn’t  work.  The Illinois GOP Platform needs to be inclusive, conservative, pro-family, pro 2nd amendment, pro less taxes, pro Trump, pro-freedom, and pro-America. 

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Gianni Caldwell was the event's keynote speaker. He is a Fox News reporter and commentator that grew up in DuPage County.  He gave a riveting speech with his big take away line being, “We need to stick with our values.”  

Of note, maybe one of the biggest ovations of the evening was when Jeanne Ives was introduced and pointed out in the middle of the room. She was not on the slate of speakers on stage. (By the way, Ives was the keynote speaker the following night at the McHenry County Republcan Lincoln Day Dinner.)

Another interesting moment was people taking selfies with Abe Lincoln and his wife during the cocktail hour.



Some other notables at the DuPage County GOP Dinner were: Tim Schneider (chairman Illinois GOP), former Lt Gov Evelyn Sanguinetti, Jeanne Ives, former State Senator Kirk Dillard, Jennifer Nevins, Carol Davis & Jan Shaw (Illinois Conservative Union) St. Rep. Allen Skillicorn. State Sen. Jim Oberweis, David Krupa, State Rep. Jim Durkin, Bobby McNeilly (Turning Point USA), Kathleen Murphy, Greg Boltz, Tony Cuzzone, Bob Schillerstrom, Lee Daniels, Roger Claar, Frank Napolitano, Nicole Prater, Deanne Wilkins, Mark Incrocci, Annette Corrigan, Babette Holder, Stephanie Leigh, IL GOP State Central Committeeman Bob Grogan, Tonia Khouri, Becky Rudolph, Christina Viahis Sussman, Dennis Wagner, Abraham Lincoln imitator and his lovely wife Mary Todd. 

All in all there seemed to be a good vibe in the room as Illinois Republicans regroup to face the next election cycle. The question of leadership, platform, and direction of the party are being discussed at many levels. The conservative base which votes in primaries is pushing hard to get back to Republican values.
Again, as Gianni Caldwell said Friday night, “Stick with your values.” 
The next big Republican gathering will be the Northwest Suburban Lincoln Day Dinner. It will be Monday, April 9, 2019 at the Cotillion in Palatine. Congresswoman Liz Chaney is slated to be the keynote speaker. Good seats still available at this link: https://nwsgop.com/event/2019-lincoln-day-dinner/https://nwsgop.com/event/2019-lincoln-day-dinner/


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  1. Pretty good synopsis Mark. Jeanne should had been the first speaker. She would had energized that room. More moderation is so out of touch, the Democrats will always out “moderate” us. We need to actually be Republicans and show why we are different and better.

  2. I find it amazing that the legalization of “recreational” pot was not an issue. I’t been used by the evil party to successfully degrade America’s youth for years. Now the “pissy poo” party apparently has decided to all but ignores the same thing happening in Illinois… thanks to them, governor squat, and the evil party.

  3. Correction, as my friend Ken Jockum indicated
    The Northwest Suburban Lincoln Day Dinner Monday, April 8, 2019. Good seats still available and I will be attending. I write the 9 in the text. Typo alert!