On the first day of the Republican semi-virtual COVID-19 convention, President Donald Trump and Vice President Mike Pence were renominated for a second term, with delegates doing a traditional, in-person roll call on Monday morning in Charlotte, N.C.
Illinois Republican Party Chair Tim Schneider cast the 67 Illinois votes for Trump, with considerable less rhetorical flourish than other state leaders, who used the occasion to give mini speeches about state history, politics, geography and the second amendment, or attack abortion rights and Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.
Schneider, coming from a heavily Democratic state, charted a safer course, with brief praise for Illinois as the “home of the first Republican President of the United States, Abraham Lincoln, and the birthplace of Ronald Reagan. I proudly cast 67 votes for our president and the next president of the United States Donald J. Trump.”
Lincoln was born in Kentucky and moved to Illinois. Schneider did not mention former President Barack Obama, who moved to Chicago as an adult and whose political career was rooted in Illinois.
Because of the pandemic, only a few hundred delegates gathered in Charlotte. Schneider and Richard Porter, a Republican National Committeeman from Illinois, were there representing Illinois Republicans.
Trump and Pence both flew to Charlotte to accept their nominations and speak. Trump formally accepts the nomination on Thursday night from the White House.
It is likely that Porter and Schneider will attend Trump’s White House speech from the South Lawn on the fourth and final night of the convention, they told the Sun-Times. Rep. Darin LaHood, R-Ill., a Trump Illinois co-chair, will also attend, his spokesman said on Monday.
Pence speaks Wednesday night at Baltimore’s historic Fort McHenry. The fort, a National Park Service site, is where Francis Scott Key wrote the poem that became the basis of the “Star-Spangled Banner” after U.S. soldiers battled the British in 1814.