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.
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.