30 Under 30 (Day 1)
The Illinois Conservatives are proud to announce an in-depth, three-day feature: ‘30 under 30,’ in which we will highlight 30 exciting conservatives under the age of 30. Illinois Conservatives’ Members nominated the young conservatives on this list, while President of the Illinois Conservatives Zach Oltmanns and Speaker of the Illinois Conservatives Joe Kaiser wrote the biographies on each member. The biographies were also created with the help of a questionnaire that every young conservative on the list answered. This ’30 under 30’ list will come out in three segments of 10 names. Thank you for taking time to read each biography.
Jason Plummer- is a 29 year old Republican nominee for congress in the 12th Congressional District and a former nominee for lt. governor in the 2010 election. Hailing from O’Fallon, Jason is also the Vice President of Corporate Development for R.P. Lumber Company. His future goal is to advance the conservative cause and help fellow Republicans return Illinois to prosperity and opportunity.
Christiaan Burner- is a 19-year-old sophomore, majoring in finance at the University of Illinois in Urbana-Champaign in the 13th Congressional District, where he isvice-president of the College Republicans. He is also currently a board member of the Jr. Tea Party in his hometown of Lemont. He maintains a Conservativepolitical blog, titled BurnerPolitics, which is constantly updated with thelatest election news and analysis and viewed by thousands of people each month nation-wide. This summer, he will have an internship at TechAmerica in downtown Chicago. TechAmerica is a trade association that represents the interests of over 1,000 of the leading technology corporations to local, state, and the federal government. His future goal is to run for Congress so that he can help bring common-sense Conservatism back to Washington.
Matthew C. Starr- is a 24-year-old Admissions Advisor at DeVry University in Naperville. Matt’s hometown in Plainfield, IL in the 13th congressional district but will be shifted to the 11th district once the next election takes place.Starr was elected in 2009 as Tax Collector for the Plainfield Township. He also serves as Secretary for the Plainfield Township Republican Organization. His future goals are to become a Plainfield Township Trustee and in the future be a U.S. Senator.
Charlie Vidal- is a 22-year-old senior studying Public Policy at the University of Chicago. Charlie is originally from Scarsdale, NY but currently lives in Hyde Park in the 1st Congressional district. He is currently the Illinois State Chair for the Young Americans for Liberty as well as the Executive Director of University of Chicago Students for a FreeSociety. A future goal for Charlie is to lead the fight in moving Illinois State employees from a defined-benefit pension system to a defined-contribution pension system. Charlie is also a Campaign Strategist for Nick Schwaderer a Montana State House candidate and a contributor to Red Alert Politics blog.
Corey Walters-is a 19-year-old student at Saint Louis University where he studies Emergency Management. When not at school, Corey lives in the 15th Congressional district, hailing from Troy, IL. Corey first got involved in politics during Adam Andrzejewski’s gubernatorial campaign. Since then he has completed over 500 hours working for Dwight Kay in his successful bid to oust Democrat Jay Hoffman in the 112th State Representative race. Even more recently, Corey was the communications director for Herman Cain in Illinois, later joining the Santorum campaign and elected as a Santorum delegate in the Republican Nation Convention out of the 15th district. Corey’s future goals include, in the short term, being elected to a school board or city council and later on to be the Emergency Management Director at the state or national level.
Mike Vitt- is a 14-year-old freshman at Lemont High School, currently living in the 3rd Congressional District. He is the President and Founder of the Jr. Lemont Tea Party, which allows him to speak at various Tea Party events. Mike also spends time trying to educate his fellow students in the conservative cause. After high school he is hoping to go into mechanical engineering and r run for a position in a College Republican group once he is enrolled into college. As he gets older, he hopes to one day run for congress or senate. His goal is to restore America to its former glory.
Peter Kondelis- is an 18-year-old senior at New Trier High School and a resident of Northfield, part of the old 10th Congressional District but will now be part of the solidly blue new 9th Congressional District. He is currently working as an intern for Robert Dold’s reelection campaign, but has also previously spent two summers as a CapitolHill intern for an out of state congressional member, served in the role of US Senate Page and spent a week shadowing employees at the RNC. He also frequently posts political analysis on redracinghorses.com. In the fall, he will be attending Haverford College in Haverford, Pennsylvania. In the future Peter hopes to intern for Congressman Pat Meehan, go to law school and one day run for congress in Pennsylvania or Illinois.
Tom Demmer- is a 25-year-old elected Lee County Board Member who recently won the Republican nomination for the 90th State Representative District. Tom lives in the old 14th Congressional District and will be shifted to the new 16th Congressional District during this upcoming election. He currently works at KSB Hospital in Dixon where he is the Director of Strategic Planning. His past roles include being an Area Director for Bill Brady’s Gubernatorial Campaign, as well as being Campaign Manager for State Senator Tim Bivins. His future goals are to be elected as the Representative from the 90th District and to promote active participation among people in democracy and government in all levels.
John Poshepny- is a 22-year-old senior at Eastern Illinois University, studying finance. John is originally from Downers Grove and the 13th Congressional District, though he will be shifted to the 11th Congressional District during the next election. John has done grassroots work on several campaigns. Currently his goal is to educate his friends on the issues, using both the internet and face to face interaction. His future goals include running for public office, possibly U.S Senate, which he believes his finance degree will help him with.
Whitney Zahnd- is a 29-year-old healthcare researcher from the 18th Congressional District. Whitney is the Illinois Coordinator for American Grizzlies United/Organize4Palin, a grassroots group that supports candidates that espouse the same principles as former Alaskan Governor Sarah Palin. Whitney is also the Administrative Coordinator for the CentralIllinois 9/12 Project and writes for Breitbart.com and a few other pro Palin websites. Whitney hopes to continue her current role in the future of supporting conservative candidates who wish to clean up government, as well as to continue her writing.