Midterm Election Recap

Year in Review – a Reflection         

2022 is closing fast and 2023 is just around the corner.  As I reflect on the year there are so many people and events that bring a warm smile to my face.  As a newbie to politics, this has been quite an eye-opening experience.  Frankly, until last year all I did was show up at the polls to vote.  I was mainly only concerned with national elections, with little interest and knowledge of local elections. I was especially and totally uninformed on judicial elections.  Occasionally I would donate dollars to prominent national campaigns and organizations, such as Donald Trump, Win Red, Alliance Defending Freedom, and Heritage Foundation.  That all changed in 2022.

I remember vividly, early in December last year, attending Mike Namoff’s “Party for the Police” and sitting with my wife at a table of strangers.   Across the table sat Sam and Cindy Limentato.  I ,of course, had no clue who they were and what they were doing.  Nevertheless, after some brief introductions, Judge Sam and Cindy, and my wife and I became fast friends.  They are no doubt some of the best people I have met.  And of course, as time advanced, I became committed to helping Sam secure formal election to the position he was previously appointed to by Judge Rita Garman.

Eventually, I decided to run for a seat opening up in County Board District 1 (Bonville, Mahomet, Fisher, Foosland area).  I began a journey into local County Politics and experienced the need for a commitment to help all the County Wide candidates as well as support our other 12 County Board Candidates.  I had a paradigm shift and began focusing on local issues over national.

Enjoyable moments for me were working with so many others in setting up and establishing for the “first-time-in-a-long time” a GOP booth at the Urbana Farmer’s Market.  So many thanks to all that made it possible, and special thanks to Rich Montgomery, arriving early, before 7 am, and staying to the end, 12 pm, to close-up.  It was refreshing to hear positive and reinforcing comments from those that passed by. 

The Fall Festival at Frasca Field was a highlight.  We had a wonderful turnout, great speakers, great music, and of course great food from Hickory River and drinks provided by Pepsi.  This event raised more money than previous events.  Many thanks to all those who volunteered.

Of course, I would be remiss not to mention our first ever Illini Tailgates at our HQ and at Grange Grove.  Great hot dogs from chef Greg Stanek, and the last-minute cooking of hot dogs by my lovely wife on a tiny electric skillet.  I now have a Health Department certificate managing food service. 

The Community Leaders Campaign raised significant and much needed funds to support County candidates.  The Active Senior Republicans, Republican Women of Champaign business leaders, campus young republicans, and so many volunteers were a tremendous help this year.

Our dreams and expectations for a “Red-Wave” in Champaign County were not met.  Yet, I am so grateful to our candidates.  It takes a lot of courage to run for office.  So much personal time, expense, exposure, events, and effort.  I am also grateful to all the families. We definitely painted the city and county with signs and billboards.  I smiled every time a saw one.

I am so grateful for all the poll watchers and election judges that dedicated so much time and effort at all the election day 67 polling locations.  And the numerous days at early voting locations and Vote By Mail (VBM) efforts.  Yes, there were a number of irregularities.  I have over 25 pages of documented, texted, and emailed issues. Too many to write about here.  Looking, at the preliminary numbers, we could have won, had more Republicans voted.

1. Seems like most votes were primarily party-line votes with the exception of Sam Limentato, 6th Circuit Judge, who received about 3,000 crossover votes.

2. 48,966 registered voters did not vote.

3. A number of down-ballot votes were not cast.

4.  Assuming the non-voter registration population is 50/50 split Republican (R) v. Democrat (D), Sam Limentato could have  won if at least 10% of those non-voter R's had voted, and we would also have won the County Wide offices if approximately 1/3 of all non-voter R's had turned out.

5. A true “Red-Wave”, could happen if most R turn out in the future.  It will not happen if voters do not vote.  Had we had a “Red-Wave”, it would have surpassed the VBM.

My conclusion: it does take all of us, united we can and will win. and finally, keep the faith and move forward.

Looking back, I am more than grateful for all the positive relations created and established.  And the numerous growth experiences.

No longer a novice, no longer a sideliner, looking forward to a new year.

Merry Christmas to all, and Happy New Year.  God Bless

Jeff Wilson