The infrastructure of the McHenry County Republican Party had dinner at d’Andrea’s Saturday night
Pretty much all the county elected officials were present and lots of candidates.
Only five were introduced, however, except en masse.
They were State Rep. Mike Tryon, who is County Chairman, State Senator Paul Althoff, who introduced Congressman Randy Hultgren and Undersheriff Andy Zinke, who has announced his candidacy to succeed and been endorse for that post by Sheriff Keith Nygren. Zinke gave the pledge of allegiance.
District 3 County Board member Mary Donner was tapped to give the invocation.
I don’t know whether we should treat Lincoln Day Dinner time similar to the way Kremlin watchers treated May Day appearances on the Kremlin wall, but, just in case you are into that type of analysis, I include similar information.
I didn’t make an inventory, but I didn’t see State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi and County Treasurer Bill LeFew, State Rep. candidates Barb Wheeler and Dave McSweeney and State Senate candidate Karen McConnaughay. Congressman Joe Walsh, McHenry County’s first resident United States Representative also was missing, although a campaign aide was in attendance.
The showing of township officials was sparse, but I did see Algonquin Township’s Supervisor Dianne Klemm, Road Commissioner Bob Miller and Trustee Dan Shea, plus Grafton Township Supervisor Linda Moore, plus Nunda Township Trustees Jim Schlader and Kelvin Jennings.
I freely admit that I may have missed some township officials and, if they want a mention for having attended, the comment sections is the place to put it.
I saw very few municipal officials (in fact, I can’t name any) and no school board members but Mike Skala, who is running for County Board in District 5.
After a glowing introduction of Hultgren by former office mate Althoff, Hultgren lived up to expectations.
“We are in a battle,” he admonished. “They are attacking a way of life we believe in as Republicans–freedom, opportunity, liberty, local power, families, being dedicated to what’s right.
Hultgren quoted President Obama five days before his election:
“We are five days away from fundamentally transforming America.”
Then the incoming Congressman for the overwhelmingly Republican 14th Congressional District asked,
“Do you think your kids and grandkids will have better opportunities than you did?”
The crowd reaction was not one of optimism.
Hultgren told of the sacrifices his great-grandfather made as a uniformed doorman at Marshall Field’s, “the sacrifices my great-grandfather made so I could serve in Congress.”
He related how his father had started the family funeral home where he grew up and his parents still lived on the second floor.
Hultgren added one anecdote about how he found it impossible to knot his tie properly for a junior high school dance.
I think he said he mother tried but couldn’t get it right. Off to his father, who was in the basement.
The elder Hultgren tried standing up but was frustrated.
Finally, he said, “Lie down.”
A prefect knot was the result.
“I believe it’s the most important election in our lifetimes,” he told the choir.
“They believe we are incapable of making more decisions than ever before. Not it’s our time to stand up for our freedom.”
He commented on the “Obama wave.”
“I’ve looked around. It’s a ripple now.”
Before Hultgren spoke, former State Senator an GOP County Chairman Jack Schaffer presented a posthumous award for former State Rep. Mark Beaubien from the McHenry County Republican Foundation to his widow Dee Beaubien.
After the speech was over some stayed to meet people they hadn’t had time to talk to before dinner began.
Among those were 52nd State Rep. candidates Danielle Rowe and Kent Gaffney and his wife Elizabeth.
For those interested in memorabilia, here’s the program for the event: