GOP Chair Timothy Schneider predicted the November election would bear plentiful fruit for Illinois Republicans, from the governor’s race to state house seats to seats in Congress.
Schneider told the City Club of Chicago that the GOP was gaining traction in four congressional races with Republican challengers to incumbents:Bob Dold, Bobby Schilling, Darlene Senger and Mike Bost.
“They’re all doing remarkably well. They’re either at 50-50 with their opponentor they’re surging ahead,” Schneider said. “We’re seeing great energy for Republicans across the state.”
Schneider cast the U.S. Senate race as competitive. Republican state Sen. Jim Oberweis is attempting to unseat U.S. Sen. Dick Durbin. Schneider said he believes Oberweis has Durbin “shaking a bit.”
“I think for the first time in a great long time, the Illinois Republican Party is really, really running on the same engine and really working together,” Schneider said. “We see candidacies, the Oberweis campaign working with the Rauner campaign,all of us working together, and that’s why we’re going to see, I believe, some really remarkable things happen in November. The energy in the state party is just incredible.”
Schneider said with confidence that Illinois Republicans would get out of the “super minority” in the Illinois House, predicting Republicans would pick up two to six seats on Nov. 4.
On hearings that resume next week scrutinizing Gov. Pat Quinn’s anti-violence program,Schneider said the facts should come out.
“I don’t think this investigation should be halted or accelerated based on the timing of an election,” he said.“Whatever comes out, good bad or indifferent, I think the people of Illinois have a right to know.”
Schneider credited much of the party’s momentumto the candidacy of Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner. Schneider, who spent seven days campaigning around the state with Rauner, described Rauner as a tireless campaigner who gave 12 speeches in 10 different cities.
“The guy doesn’t stop,” Schneider said. “He is the real deal.”