At IOP one of our goals is remake the House caucus into a majority economically conservative force that can create a distinguishing brand identity superior to the failed establishment GOP brand and present a material alternative to the Madigan Democrats.
Our first strategic objective to achieve this goal is to build a movement from the base back to the middle. That means in primaries we look for safe seats that Republicans are highly likely to win in November. We then work to ensure we have a fiscally conservative nominee focused on changing the culture in Springfield and leading the revolution, not another go along, get along Republican. This is similar to the Club for Growth strategy at the national level.
Our second strategic objective is in seats that will be competitive, either as holds or pickups, to seek the most conservative nominee who can win. Our third objective is to hold Republicans accountable by challenging incumbents who misrepresent their policy agenda or operate counter to a liberty principled policy agenda.
The positive results below together with our primary successes in 2012, 2014 and 2016 means we have reshaped the GOP House caucus and modestly improved the Senate. By January of 2019, due to your support of our work, we will have the most conservative GOP House caucus in a generation.
Tuesday night was our most successful primary election to date. 18 out of the 23 candidates we recruited, trained, and supported were successful. Thank you again for your ongoing support.
Our strategy and results of this cycle were to:
1) Replace as many of the 15 surrender republicans who voted for the income tax hike last year as possible.
We replaced 10 of the 15 surrender republicans
2) Continue to rebuild the Republican Caucus by electing free-market reform candidates and defeating union-backed candidates in safe republican open-seats.
We helped elect an additional four economically conservative Republicans in open seats
3) Support the best economically conservative candidates in contested primaries where the winner will take on a Democrat in November.
We won all four races with competitive primaries and cleared the field in targeted races for November
We serve as the main counterweight to public employee unions and establishment Republican insiders. Without our involvement, free-market candidates likely would have lost to the union-backed and party picked candidates.
1) Replace Surrender Republicans
This past July, fifteen Republican representatives joined hands with Mike Madigan and voted for the largest permanent tax hike in state history.
We immediately began recruiting candidates to run against them even while Republican Party insiders including Governor Rauner and House Leader Jim Durkin circled the wagons to protect these tax hikers.
Despite threats, intimidation, and pressure from the Party, we recruited candidates to challenge fourteen of the tax hikers.
For example, in the 49th House District, incumbent Mike Fortner opted to retire rather than face Tonia Khouri. With the party’s blessing and support, and the backing of the teachers union, Nic Zito challenged Tonia. Tonia defeated Zito, the son of a former Democrat State Senator and member of the anti-Trump Indivisible movement, by 31%. Ensuring a strong economic conservative voice will be in Springfield.
With your support, we replaced ten of these surrender Republicans.
2) Rebuild The Republican Caucus
In addition to replacing ten of the tax hikers, four additional new reform legislators will be going to Springfield in seats where the incumbent Republican retired. In these races we recruited, supported, and trained candidates who will go to Springfield and serve as economic conservative leaders. Our reform candidates took on candidates backed by establishment Republicans and government sector unions.
For example, in McHenry County, we recruited air force veteran Craig Wilcox while the party backed county board member John Reinert. In Southern Illinois, we supported Jason Plummer in a four-way primary to replace retiring Kyle McCarter against a candidate who received thousands of dollars from government sector unions.
3) Pick Up Seats In November
In the 2018 General Election, we are working to unseat the nine Democrat Representatives necessary to gain a Republican majority in the House and depose Speaker Mike Madigan. We’ve recruited candidates in all of the target districts.
We were involved in three races where a candidate who wouldn’t be as strong in November opposed the candidate we recruited. We won all three of these contested races.
With an eye towards November, we are providing training, support, and building out advocacy programs in all of our target districts.
Primary candidates in competitive races we supported who won:
House District 42: Amy Grant
House District 46: Jay Kinzler
House District 49: Tonia Khouri
House District 56: Jillian Bernas
House District 62: Ken Idstein
House District 89: Andrew Chesney
House District 101: Dan Caulkins
House District 107: Blaine Wilhour
House District 109: Darren Bailey
House District 110: Chris Miller
House District 112: Dwight Kay
Senate District 32: Craig Wilcox
Senate District 54: Jason Plummer
Economic conservative candidates in open races:
House District 47: Deanne Mazzochi
House District 65: Dan Ugaste
House District 70: Jeff Keicher
House District 99: Mike Murphy
House District 104: Mike Marron