From Don Tracy:
I hope everyone had a wonderful Thanksgiving holiday and spent quality time with loved ones in spite of the uptick in seasonal flu, colds and COVID.
Last Monday, I was delighted to reconnect with many of our candidates, elected officials, and party leaders at a Oakbrook holiday party sponsored by Jay Berman, Richard Porter, Sandy Perl, David Hill, and Kim Godden with special guest Congressman Byron Donalds (FL-19).
A rising star in national Republican politics, Congressman Donalds reinforced the important message of growing the party, and better engaging diverse communities and younger voters.
As we move to the New Year, I know it is hard to believe what we just endured.
The Illinois Republican primary for Governor was the most expensive in the history of the nation with over $100M spent by outside interests.
The general election drew over $100 million more, including $152 million spent against us by Governor Pritzker himself.
Yet in the general, turnout was significantly down for both parties compared to the disastrous 2018 election.
The top of the ticket drew 3.5 million voters, versus 4.5 million voters in 2018 in spite of voting having been made easier than ever.
Thanks in large part to Democrats outspending Illinois Republicans by tens of millions of dollars, major issues that should have favored our Republican candidates like
- corruption and
were drowned out by issues like
- guns and
- January 6.
From the top of the ticket down, Republicans were painted as “extremists” on these issues, and our candidates didn’t have the necessary financial resources to push back and tell their story.
Going forward, we have a lot of work to do.
Among many other things, we must do more to support our local parties and help build their capacity with respect to Vote By Mail, Early Voting, Get-Out-The-Vote, Election Integrity, and more.
Toward this end, we need to
- recruit more volunteers to work with our candidates and
- help local parties raise more money,
- identify and communicate with other potential supporters,
- put on more events,
- register voters and
- better promote voting by mail and early voting.
We need your smiles too.
As Congressman Byron Donalds said, we are not going to persuade others with anger.
Following the Reagan 80% rule, we need to work with those whom we mostly agree with.
Politics is a team sport.
Let’s not give up and instead be a party of happy warriors committed long term to sound government policies that reflect and advance our passionate beliefs in the ideals that make this a great nation and will make Illinois a better state.