A hot rumor this week with Illinois political insiders is that former Congressman Bobby Schilling’s Communications Director, Jon Schweppe, could be preparing a run for the 71st State House seat. The seat recently switched hands from Republican Rich Morthland to Democratic newcomer Mike Smiddy. The 71st includes towns such as Morrison, Sterling, and Savanna.
Morthland lost in 2012 by 10 percent, which comes out to just over 4,700 votes. This looks like a decisive victory, but what makes the 71st a battleground district is the following: in 2010, Morthland was able to win the district with only 20,376 votes. He didn’t just win the district; he blew his opponent, Dennis Ahern, out by a margin of 58-42 percent. However, with 2012 being a Presidential election year, Morthland lost by 10%, even though he raised his vote tally up by nearly 3,000 votes to 23,070. 2014 is not a Presidential year, so the amount of votes will go down and could lead the way to a Republican victory. It is believed that Morthland will not try to reclaim the seat in 2014.
Jon Schweppe might be the Republicans best shot at the gaining the seat. Schweppe has experience running a good campaign while serving in a senior role campaigning for Schilling. Schweppe knows the area well, as he was a 2010 graduate of Augustana College and has resided in the Quad City area for 15 years. At just 24, Schweppe is rumored to be laying the ground work for a run by reaching out to influential leaders in the district, however only time will tell if he jumps into the race.
Although we are still months away from an official announcement, look for the following that could change the dynamics in the district. If current Rep. Mike Smiddy does not abstain from any pension votes, that could ignite the opposition against him. Smiddy is currently an East Moline Correctional Center Officer and would have a lot of skin in the game for any pension vote. Also, if Schilling decides to run again in the 17th, Schweppe would have to decide if he wants to run in the 71st or return to the Schilling staff. You can expect to see a lot of Jon Schweppe during the next year if you live in the 71st district.
A lot of people have asked “can he win”? The answer to that right now is probably. In 2008, when Schilling challenged former Rep. Phil Hare, the Rock Island Republican won his county by 994 votes (Schilling-23,054 and Hare-22,060). Despite this, in 2012, in the matchup between Democrat Cheri Bustos and Schilling, Schilling lost Rock Island County by a margin of 6,629 votes. This clearly seems that Schilling lost support in his home county, but he actually received 28,789 votes (increase of over 5,500 votes). Cheri Bustos though received 35,418 votes (an increase over Hare’s numbers by over 13,000 votes). A total of 64,207 votes were casted in 2012 compared to only 45,114 in 2010. Therefore, it is very reasonable to expect that in 2014, the amount of votes that are casted will go back down closer to the 45,000 range because of it being an off year election and therefore lower voter turnout. If Democrats stay home, the Republican candidate can possibly win Rock Island County and have an easier time winning the 17th.
Another question being asked is ‘why was it lost in the first place?’ The district went from a Democratic +3 district in 2010 to a Democratic +7 district in 2012. Only 47 percent of the old 17th District from 2010 was placed in the new district in 2012 meaning the incumbent advantage was erased in over half of the district. There were over 90,000 more people that voted district wide in 2012 than in 2010 and in a Democratic leaning district an increase in 90,000 votes is a toxic statistic to any Republican candidate. Obviously, the reason for so many more ballots being cast is because it was a Presidential year. President Obama is still very popular in Illinois and he gave every Democratic candidate in Illinois a bit of a bump with having his name alongside them on the ballot.
Can the 17th district be reclaimed by Bobby Schilling? That is the million dollar question (more likely multi-million dollar question if he does run.) I am confident he can. Even though the numbers show that the district now leans farther to the left, Schilling was able to win in 2010 because he was an independent mind strong enough to stand up to outside pressure. Schilling showed that time and time again in Congress and could have the opportunity to do so some more if he takes the opportunity next year.
Thank you for reading our 30 under 30 list. We hope you found it informative. These 30 individuals will be at the head of our movement in the years to come. We also want to recognize some of our fellow under 30 leadership members Charlie Kirk (18-SOS Liberty/Illinois Conservatives), Dalton Gray (19-Illinois Conservatives), JC Hagen (28-Illinois Conservatives), Andrew Spitzer (22-Vice President Illinois Conservatives), and MaryAnn McCabe(Illinois Conservatives). We also want to thank McHenry County Blog, Illinois Review and Ulysses S. Arn with us0farn.com (29-Blogger, Author, Activist) for cross posting our list. Series was written by Joe Kaiser and Zach Oltmanns
Jon Schweppe- is a 24-year-old Communications Director for the Bobby Schilling for Congress Campaign. His hometown is Aledo and he currently lives in the 17th Congressional District. In 2010, Jon graduated from Augustana College with a bachelor’s degree in Business and Economics. In the future, he would like to not only get Congressman Schilling re-elected but to also get other hard working conservatives elected throughout Illinois.
Timothy Stoll- is a 27-year-old Chairman of the Kane County Young Republicans and Precinct Committeeman for Rutland 1. Timothy is from West Dundee and lives in the 14th Congressional District. He is also currently doing district outreach and casework for Congressman Randy Hultgren. His goal is to make Illinois a state where business thrives, private sectorjobs are plentiful and people are free to create the life they want with minimal governmental interference.
Mark Cavers- is a 25-year-old policy analyst from Mundelein in the 18th Congressional District, working for the Illinois Policy Institute. His job duties include government relations and talking to state leaders everyday about the conservative cause. Mark is hoping that Illinois will become the land of freedom and prosperity, while also holding a future goal to someday become the Governor of Illinois.
Lucas Hawley-is an 18-year-old fulltime student at Victor J. Andrew High School. Lucas is from the 1st Congressional District and lives in Tinley Park. He recently finished his work on severalcampaigns during the primary season including a congressional race, state representative race and state senator race. In 2010, he interned for Jeff Junkas. A short term goal for Lucas is to get elected to a local office in the Tinley Park area. He would also like to reform the GOP party in Illinois byclearing the party of corruption and the ineffective leaders. A long term goal of his would be to get involved with U.S. Embassies, mainly the embassy in Berlin, Germany.
Katie Salvi- is a 23-year-old college student and soon to be law student from Mundelein and the 14th CongressionalDistrict. She recently worked on the Santorum for President Campaign in Illinois and has helped other conservatives get elected as well. Her futuregoal in politics is to get more conservatives elected to office and to return this country to greatness. She believes anything is possible for her in thefuture.
Mick Paskiewicz- is a 24-year-old who is the State Chairmen for the Illinois College Republican Foundation. Originally from Indianapolis, Mick now finds himself living in Illinois in the 7th Congressional District with the current job of working for the Joe Walsh re-election team. He hopes in the future he can help get more Republicans get elected in Illinois.
Anthony Barry- is a 25-year-old staffer for Congressman Joe Walsh. Anthony is from Yorkville, which is in Kendall County and in the 14th Congressional District. While his short term goal is to get Joe Walsh re-elected to congress, his long term goal is to restore America back to the way the founders intended it to be.
Jon McLean-is a 29-year-old who is currently the Chairman of the St. Clair County Republican Party. He lives in Belleville in the 12th Congressional District with his two daughters and wife. His goal as chairman has been to get more Republicans elected to the St. Clair County Board, whose chairman position he is currently running for.
Adam Brown- is a 26-year-old farmer and State Representative from Decatur, IL. Adam currently represents the citizens of the 101stDistrict, but he will be shifted to the 102nd district with the new maps. Adam lives in the 13th Congressional District with his wife Stephanie and is the youngest member of the general assembly. Before becoming a state representative, Adam served as a Decatur City Councilman. In the future, he plans to advance a pro-jobs agenda that allows families and businesses to prosper in Illinois. Adam would like to lessen the burden of government red-tape and eliminate abuses of our tax dollars.
Terry Schilling- is a 25-year-old from the 17th Congressional District, where he lives in Genesco with his wife Kaite and his two young daughters. He currently serves as Campaign Manager for Bobby Schilling’s re-election bid in the 17th District. In 2010, Terry laid the grown work for Congressman Schilling’s win against Democrat Phil Hare. His future goal is to turn the country around by electing conservatives to as many public offices as possible.
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
Illinois Conservatives Endorse Six Candidates for General Election
Today the Illinois Conservatives have announced their first six endorsements of the general election cycle. The six are Bill Brady (Governor), Jason Plummer (Lt. Governor), Don Manzullo (16th Congressional District), Bobby Schilling (17th Congressional District), Cedra Crenshaw (43rd State Senate District), Sam McCann (49th State Senate District).
All six of these candidates are strong conservatives ready to make a difference for the people of Illinois.
All six of these candidates are focused on bring down taxes, fixing the state and national budget crisis, creating jobs, and are pro-life. These are some of the many reasons why the Illinois Conservatives have chosen these six to be the groups first endorsements of the general election.
Bill Brady, Jason Plummer, Cedra Crenshaw, and Sam McCann will be able to work together in Springfield to fix many of the problems facing our state. These four will be strong voices against the Madigan Machine.
Don Manzullo and Bobby Schilling will stand up against Nancy Pelosi and her liberal agenda and bring a conservative voice to Washington DC.
The Illinois Conservatives that is primarily on facebook with over 2,875 members statewide. If you would like to join visit facebook.com and search Illinois Conservatives.
Zachary S. Oltmanns
President of the Illinois Conservatives
15th Congressional District (-R- Tim Johnson)
Many few Tim Johnson as the most moderate Republican from Illinois outside the Chicago area. This district has been represented by the GOP since 1977. This district also voted for Bush both times and McCain in 2008. Tim Johnson is being challenged by David Gill. The GOP is poised to hold this seat. Johnson holds the money advantage $192,497 to Gill’s $17,114. Not a real strong conservative in the race but Johnson would be better then another yes vote for Obama.
16th Congressional District (-R- Don Manzullo)
Don Manzullo looking strong as usual in the 16th. The Incumbent Manzullo has $429,324 on hand. Democrat challenger George Gaulrapp has only $5,302 on hand. George has gotten very little help from the Democratic Party as well. Manzullo has served this district since 1993. He has stood opposed to moving suspected Terrorist to the Thompson Prison. Manzullo has gotten over 66% of the vote since 2000. An easy win for Manzullo and the GOP. Great win for conservatives!
17th Congressional District (-D- Phil Hare)
The 17th district is another district here in Illinois that the GOP hopes to pick up. A new poll came out showing GOP Challenger Robert Schilling beating the Incumbent Hare 45-32. Hare is a big Pro-Choice democrat. Him and the Speaker work hand and hand on most issues. During the Obamacare drama Hare was caught saying “I don’t worry about the constitution on this to be honest.” This shows just how far out there Mr. Hare is. As conservatives we need to elect Bobby Schilling.
18th Congressional District (-R- Aaron Schock)
Aaron Schock looks like a lock to win re-election. Also, this district hasn’t been represented by a Democrat since 1939. Most consider Aaron to be a fiscal conservative but more moderate on the social issues. Aaron is facing Deidre Hirner. Hirner has $16,727 to the Incumbents $430,736.
19th Congressional District (-R- John Shimkus)
John Shimkus looks like another safe Republican here in Illinois. He is facing a very light challenger in Tim Bagwell. The FEC report shows that Bagwell has $4,546 in the bank compared to the Incumbents $1.4 million. Bagwell and Shimkus faced off back in 2004 with Shimkus prevailing 69%-31%. Look for Shimkus to easily be re-elected in the 19th.
Internal Poll Has Schilling Leading Hare, 45-32
from the Schilling for Congress campaign
EAST MOLINE, IL–Bobby Schilling, Republican candidate for Congress in the Illinois 17th District, released an internal poll which showed him leading Rep. Hare, 45%-32%. The automated poll was conducted on July 12th, 2010 by Magellan Strategies and surveyed 715 likely voters in the 17th District. David Flaherty, CEO of Magellan said that the 17th District is in play.
“Without question, it is clear that incumbent Congressman Phil Hare is in trouble,” said Flaherty.
“His image rating, reelect rating and ballot test numbers show an incumbent that will be fighting hard to keep his job this November. There is no doubt, based on the results of this survey, that this will be a very competitive race and Republican candidate Bobby Schilling should be in a position to win this fall.”
According to Flaherty, Phil Hare’s image rating is “upside down,” with 27% of voters having a favorable opinion of him, and 41% having an unfavorable opinion of him.
Terry Schilling, campaign manager, also commented on the poll.
“These numbers make perfect sense. Voters know that since Rep. Hare was elected in 2006, we have seen the unemployment rate double, the national debt grow by more than $5 trillion, and more taxes being pushed on the middle class. This isn’t the best year to be an unapologetic tax and spender.”
Courtesy of Illinoisreview.com