Illinois GOP members react to DeSantis visit

Illinois House Minority Leader Tony McCombie (R-Savanna). (Dave Dahl/WJBC)

By Dave Dahl

PEORIA – The state’s Republicans Friday could only look and listen, and think, someday that could be us, as they took in Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis’ keynote address at a GOP dinner in Peoria.

Reminded that the state’s Democrats again control all statewide offices, House Minority Leader Tony McCombie (R-Savanna) denied that the state GOP is too far to the right.

“I believe everybody, or most people, the majority of the people are still towards  the middle,” she said. “I think regardless of whether you lean to the right or to the left, common sense will rule the day.”

With Darren Bailey the candidate for Illinois governor and Donald Trump the candidate for president? They are the middle?

“Well,” McCombie responded, “I mean, that’s the primary, right? And then you have Gov. (JB) Pritzker digging into our primary, and we’re seeing that around the nation as well.”

McCombie is referring to Democrat-paid television commercials depicting Bailey as a right-wing darling. Republicans say the strategy pulled down the establishment Republican candidate for governor.

State Sen. Sue Rezin (R-Morris) was part of a private pre-event with DeSantis.

“He set his agenda out when he first ran for office, and he has accomplished everything,” Rezin said. “So now he is on his second set of accomplishments. He works to govern. I think that is what’s missing in politics today: leaders who really appreciate and work on governing for their state.”

Rezin did not mention any names but did say Illinois lacked a strong candidate atop the Republican ticket last time, and that problem drags down all of the party’s candidates.

Dave Dahl can be reached at [email protected]


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