I want to introduce myself as the newly elected Chairman of the Champaign County Republican Party. First, let me thank the Champaign County Precinct Committeepersons for their trust in me, shown in their unanimous vote to elect me as GOP Party Chair.
I have been married to my wife, Maggie, for over 40 years. We have two adult sons, Tyson and Sean, four grandchildren and a growing number of great grandchildren. After returning from serving in the Army in Germany, I have lived and worked in Champaign County since 1980. I have worked at the University of Illinois Facilities and Services at Central Store since 1999, doing purchasing for the Trades and Campus. We are members of Meadowbrook Community Church in Champaign.
I have served the community on the Champaign County Board for ten years and I am currently running for re-election. I serve on the Champaign County Highway and Transportation, Justice, and Social Service and Labor Committees. I am also the Champaign County Liaison for CUUATS, Re-Entry Program, past member of Community Action Board, Health Department, and others.
Over the last thirty years, I have had a strong history of working for and electing candidates on the national, state, and local levels as a volunteer or regional coordinator responsible for multiple counties. Al Salvi for Senate, Bill Brady for Governor, Rick Winkel for State Senate are just a few campaigns that have given me long years of experience to understand what works and what doesn’t. I know the importance of seeking wise counsel to help our candidates and party win elections.
The goals for the Champaign GOP for the coming election and beyond will build upon what I have heard from our members. I have two key goals. First, we need to build, strengthen and better organize our party to be a more professional organization to win elections. Second, we need to ensure voters have a safer, more accountable local government that serves the people of Champaign County. We accomplish these goals by valuing established, long-term party members with institutional election and leadership knowledge. As importantly, we must capture the energy and skills of new members to strengthen and grow the party. Bringing these two groups together is a requirement to have a strong enough organization to beat the Democrats.
We have two important tasks to accomplish for the midterms. One, build a strong Election Integrity Committee to guarantee voters know their vote is secure and they will be allowed to legally vote on Election Day by Champaign County Clerk Ammons. Our new GOP Party Vice-Chair Tami Fruhling-Voges has agreed to lead a group of new and experienced Judges and Poll Watchers. This group will develop procedural skills to ensure the integrity and proper chain of custody of our ballots and grow in confidence how to challenge improprieties.
Second, our new Champaign GOP Party Secretary and County Board Candidate Jeff Wilson will be working with our PC Coordinator, Bruce Povalish to continue to recruit and organize our Precinct Committeepersons. We need to fill as many of the PC positions as possible. Your friends and neighbors are a source of untapped volunteerism.
I’d like to thank the outgoing executive team for their hard work. Dee Shonkwiler, John Farney and Diane Michael have all contributed their time and talent to the CCGOP for many years. Finally, I’d like to thank all our members and volunteers for their continued hard work and dedication to our party. I look forward to working with all of you to elect our outstanding candidates.
Champaign County Board Member
Champaign County Republican Party Chair
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