Illinois GOP Leaders Look To Strengthen Party With Outreach To Black, Brown Communities

Black vote

CHICAGO (WBBM NEWSRADIO) -- Going into Day 3 of the Republican National Convention, the head of Illinois’ Republican Party said Donald Trump may not win Illinois in November, but he’ll do better here than many people expect.

Illinois is a blue state. Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider does not deny that, but he insists this is a great time to be a Republican in Illinois, with House Speaker Michael Madigan under scrutiny. Yes, he said, Donald Trump is not going to win Chicago, but Chicago is not the state.

"Central and southern Illinois are very, very strongly held for Donald Trump. We believe that we will even see some State House pick ups in central and southern Illinois, while the northern half of Illinois is really reluctant to support the President because of his rhetoric," he said. 

Democrats said it is more than rhetoric.

Meanwhile, as the Republican National Convention was focusing on the “Land of Opportunity,” Illinois’ GOP leaders were talking about better outreach to black and brown communities.

RELATED: Illinois GOP: Mail-In Voting Could Severely Delay Vote Count | RNC Focuses On Issues Of Law And Order; Impact On Illinois

In two online sessions Tuesday, the Illinois Republican Party highlighted African American and LatinX party faithful, Catalina Lauf, who, along with her sister, was featured in videos on both nights of the convention, said the Republican Party needs to do better.

"I think Republicans in a lot of ways have not gone to these communities. You know, I remember, I mean Republicans have not addressed the Hispanic community or marginalized communities," she said.

Lauf lost to Jim Oberweis in the 14th Congressional District Primary. Jesus Solario is the Republican candidate running to unseat Congressman Jesus "Chuy" Garcia. And he agrees with Lauf.

"Once we start being more actively involved in these communities, and not afraid to talk to these communities across the state, then we can start changing that narrative," Solario said.A major push in the African-American community is already in the works.

George Pearson, Will County Republican Chairman, told a livestream that the state GOP has helped launch the Illinois Black Republican Coalition. He and other black party leaders mean for this to be a working group for people who believe in free enterprise, school choice and self-reliance.
"It is not about outreach. We know that there are a lot of blacks and African Americans that are out there that live this principle every single day - their business life, their family life, every single day. We are trying to build a coalition to show that you have support out here to say if you are a Republican," he said. Bremen Township GOP Committeeman Kevin Suggs said black Republicans will combine their expertise to, in his words, “turn Illinois around.”
He said the Illinois Black Republican Coalition will be an alliance of people who share values like entrepreneurship and educational excellence.
"This is not just something we are redoing, or retooling, recreating. This is something that we believe in that we are going to make happen and we have the right people, at the right time, and are going to let the past go, we are going to move forward, in saying, 'hey what are the key plans and steps we need to take to turn Illinois around?'" Suggs said.