Last night, the Grant Township GOP organization hosted its annual Lincoln Day dinner, which was a big success. I'm just estimating, but I think there had to be at least 300 people in attendance. In fact, I was having so much fun, I forgot to take any pictures, so I am hopeful that my friend Grant Township GOP Chairman Nancy Kubalanza will send me a few.
Among the many attendees were Pat Brady, IL GOP Chairman, who gave the keynote address; Joe Walsh, the GOP nominee for the 8th Congressional District (who will challenge the entrenched, but still potentially vulnerable Melissa Bean); Mark Curran, Lake County Sheriff, Michael Waller, Lake County State's Attorney, Bob Skidmore, Lake County Treasurer, Roycealee Wood, Superintendent of Schools; Suzi Schmidt, County Board Chairman and candidate for State Senate, 31st District; State Senator Dan Duffy; county board members Steve Carlson and Bonnie Thompson Carter; State Representatives Sandy Cole, Mark Beaubein, and JoAnne Osmond; candidates for State Representative Dan Sugrue and Lauren Turelli, a couple of mayors such as Bruce Sauer of North Barrington, lots and lots of judges, a few justices like Mary Schostok and Ann Jorgensen, Lake County GOP Chairman Dan Venturi, and the list goes on and on.
Pat Brady gave a great address and touched on the recent troubles of the Dems, such as the Scott Lee Cohen fiasco, but emphasized that his focus will be to help return the Republican party back to the "Party of Ideas," since it is clearly not enough to simply take potshots at the Dems. We need to reach out to independents and voters of all stripes, and explain to them why we are the better party with ideas and the right way to govern, rather than simply cutting up the Dems. Brady also emphasized the incredible opportunity we have with Congressman Mark Kirk as our U.S. Senate candidate to take back what some like to call the "Barack Obama seat," and really show the Dems and the White House that the country is fed up with their style of governance and we're not going to take it anymore. Brady also emphasized the great diversity and quality of the GOP ticket, and mentioned candidates like Steve Kim, who is running for attorney general, and Robert Enriquez, who is running for Secretary of State. Unlike the Dems, where it seems you have to be a Daley, a Lipinski, a Madigan, a Jones, or a Jackson (and the list goes on and on), the GOP nominates its candidates based on quality and ability, not birthright.
All in all, it was a great evening, and TA won $100 in the raffle, so it was all pretty cool. Based on the energy in the room, it's going to be a great election cycle, and we're all looking for great things to happen in November.