Lincoln Day Dinner reflections

The 2023 (Governor DeSantis) Lincoln Day Dinner is now in the books as a great success!

The Governor shared his blueprint for Florida. If we could only copy that blueprint in Illinois.

Before addressing the Governor’s comments, I have to thank Congressman LaHood for inviting the Governor to Central Illinois. Also, thanks to Jim Rule, our partner in Tazewell County, and our event chairs, Brian Elsasser, who raised a ton of money, and Anita Meeker, who managed a spectacularly flawless event. Put all of that together and we had an event beyond our greatest expectations.

The other side does not like Governor DeSantis. Protesters showed up, but our guests did not let the naysayers become the story of the evening. As you would expect, our guests were a class act, and in the end the event was about the efforts of conservatives to have a healthy community, state and country.

Governor DeSantis was respectful and thorough – and humorous when he challenged J.B. Pritzker’s negative comments about his visit to Illinois: “I’m a little bit disappointed that your governor said I wasn’t welcome in Illinois because I seem to remember when he was locking down this state, he sent his family to my state to live where we respect personal freedom.”

DeSantis’s message focused on what his team has done in Florida. He balanced his comments between the impact he has had on fiscal and social issues. Florida is the world’s 16th-largest economy, yet Governor DeSantis has been able to lead amazing changes to take the state to the top in the country in education and in developing a skilled workforce. He explained his achievements have not stopped there, as he has also impacted important conservative values, such as the right to life and parental rights. All this while developing a $21,000,000,000 budget surplus in 2022.

What would Illinois look like if we could match those statistics?

The Governor’s comments were the culmination of an event that originally had a goal of 700 attendees. Our team blew that away with 1,121 people in the seats. Our fundraising more than doubled last year’s event. My greatest appreciation goes to the people I get to work with every day and our amazing donors who stepped up to help us. Our team is committed to inspiring, educating and engaging our Republican voters and volunteers. Our goal is simple – step up our ground game to get 8,011 more Republicans to show up and turn our county red. We have tripled our number of Precinct Captains to make that happen.



You can hear the Governor’s speech here.

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