The keynote speaker this year was State Treasurer Dan Rutherford, who was making good on his commitment to talk at this dinner a few years back, but he had to cancel because of his jaw being wired shut due to a mishap while he was on a ski vacation. Rutherford mentioned that he was coordinating the Illinois campaign for Mitt Romney, but he mostly focused on the future of the party. While he commended everyone for fighting for what they believed in (in terms of the 'social' issues), he emphasized that if the Republicans do not want to be resigned to being the party of the minority, they must rally around the common themes of limited government, fiscal responsibility, and lower taxes, and eschew the divisions that arise when Republicans impose a litmus test on candidates based on issues like abortion.
Since the recent redistricting, one big change in Grant Township is that Grant is now in the 10th District, not the 8th. This means that this coming election, Grant will be working to re-elect Congressman Robert Dold, instead of Joe Walsh. Walsh and Dold both spoke, and each commended the other, with Walsh imploring those from Grant to work just as hard (or harder) to support Dold as they did for him, and Dold pointing out that Walsh's tough battle in the new 8th District means that everyone still needs to support him as well.
No door prizes for TA this year, but there's always next year. Here are my pix:
John and Jan Zobus pose with political consultant extraordinaire (according to him anyway) Collin Corbett.
County Board candidate Jeff Werfel, with County Treasurer Bob Skidmore and State Representative JoAnn Osmond.
Here's Jeff again with keynote speaker State Treasurer Dan Rutherford.
Retired Judge Jane Waller and State's Attorney Michael Waller.
Green Oaks Trustee Dan Sugrue and 8th District Congressman Joe Walsh
County Board Chairman David Stolman, County Board Member Bonnie Thompson Carter, and Congressman Bob Dold.
County Board Members Linda Pedersen and Steve Carlson.
Party hosts Walt and Nancy Kubalanza bookend Dan Rutherford.
County Board Candidate Scott Helton and Moraine Township GOP Chairman Lou Atsaves strike their best 'enforcer' pose. I'm glad I don't owe them money.
My fellow Augustana alumni Kris Duffy and State Senator Dan Duffy.
Congressman Bob Dold and Circuit Court Judge Dan Shanes.
Sheriff Mark Curran and State's Attorney Candidate Bryan Winter.