DEER GROVE – Elected Republicans and those running for office on Friday emphasized a sense of urgency needed for upcoming elections.
A group of nearly 150 attended the Lincoln Day Dinner at the Deer Valley Country Club, hosted by the Whiteside County Republicans. Among them was Bobby Schilling, who in November will try to win back the 17th Congressional District seat he lost in 2012 to Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-East Moline.
“If we don’t take back the Governor’s Mansion, if the liberal folks that have been destroying this state for years get a hold of it, Illinois is done,” said Schilling, the night’s keynote speaker.
The 17th District includes Whiteside and Carroll counties.
Schilling, R-Colona, said the Nov. 4 general election will predict the future of the state, adding that the Democratic Party, at the state and federal levels, has hurt Illinois.
“What we’re going to be up against is probably the toughest fight of our lives, to take back our state from those that are destroying her,” he said.
The Republican Party and its candidates, Schilling said, need to emphasize their ideas to promote “economic freedom” and creating jobs, not income inequality or an increase in the minimum wage, which he said Democrats will use to distract voters.
In addition to several local elected officials, there were speeches by Neil Anderson, a Moline firefighter challenging state Sen. Mike Jacobs, D-East Moline, for the 36th District seat, and Jim Wozniak, a Rock Island County assistant state’s attorney challenging Rep. Mike Smiddy, D-Hillsdale, for the 71st District seat in the Illinois House.
Both Anderson and Wozniak said the state’s problems, including unfunded penion liability and high taxes, are a result of failed Democratic policies.
Schilling said that while Republicans may not agree on every issue, they needed to come together and vote as a party.
“Let’s show the Democrats that are destroying Illinois and the United States of America that we’re not going to take it anymore,” he said.