PHOTO GALLERY: Illinois GOP-CCA Joint Meeting Breakfast
Published by Capitol News Illinois on Aug. 15, 2019
Article by Jerry Nowicki; Photos by Rebecca Anzel
SPRINGFIELD – Leading Illinois Republicans acknowledged the stark political reality their party faces in the state at a joint breakfast of the state central committee and county chairmen’s association Thursday, but said the state’s “aggressive progressive” swing to the left this year offers them an opportunity to rebound.
“We all know what happened in 2018, and I don’t want to sugarcoat anything and tell you that it was such a great year because it wasn’t,” state Republican Party Chair Tim Schneider said in his opening remarks.
His party holds a superminority in each house of the Illinois General Assembly and no statewide elected positions, and it lost two congressional seats to Democrats in the “Blue Wave” election of 2018 which saw Democrats reclaim the U.S. House of Representatives.
“The northern half of the state didn’t react very well to what was going on in the nation and we had a rough year,” Schneider said. “… That’s our current reality, but it doesn’t and it won’t be our future.”
The meeting partially filled a small room at the Wyndham hotel in Springfield, and the vast majority of the state’s 102 counties were not represented in a roll call which kicked of the event.
Those in attendance heard their leaders discuss the role of U.S. President Donald Trump and a graduated income tax ballot proposal in upcoming elections. In media interviews, those same leaders downplayed the sentiments of some in their party who have said Chicago and downstate Illinois should be separated into two states.
The unifying theme of the speakers was that the progressive tilt Illinois politicians have taken legislatively will force the pendulum of party politics back toward the right.