Membership Newsletter – July 2023

St. Clair County Republican Party

I hope you enjoyed the celebration of our nation’s independence on July 4th! Independence Day is a very important day for all Republicans as it reminds us of the freedom for which our forefathers fought after they published the Declaration of Independence in 1776. As a Party, we continue to fight each and every day for all of our freedoms which were inscribed in The Constitution of the United States.

To ensure we maintain these freedoms, our Party’s mission is to elect fellow conservatives to public office in St. Clair County, the State of Illinois, and our nation. To do that, we must listen to our constituents in the County and communicate our message to them. The single most important role in the Party to support this work is the Precinct Committeeman (PC). Please read the article below and consider becoming a PC in support of our mission.

It’s also time to begin planning for the 2024 General Election! There are many Federal, State, and County positions that will be on the ballot, and we need strong Republican candidates for each of them. Please take a look at the list of positions below and consider running for one of them! The IL GOP will be holding training for all candidates and precinct committeemen (PCs) on Saturday, August 19th from 10AM to 2PM at the Holiday Inn Express at 1000 Plummer Drive in Edwardsville. There is no charge to attend and a light breakfast and lunch will be provided. Please see the event flyer below.

Please save the dates for the Republican Day event at the IL State Fair on Thursday, August 17th at the IL State Fairgrounds and for our annual Reagan Day Dinner on Thursday, September 28th at the Knights of Columbus Hall in Fairview Heights! Please see below for information on both events. We hope to see you at both of them!

Thanks for all you do in helping us turn St. Clair County red!

Cheryl Mathew
St. Clair County Republican Party Core Values

Please Consider Becoming A Precinct Committeeman!

We’re making progress in turning the County red just as our neighbors to the north in Madison County did in 2016. For example, we elected IL Representative David Friess to office in 2020 flipping IL District 116 from Democrat to Republican. In 2022, we elected both IL Senator Harriss and IL Representative Schmidt to office flipping state districts previously held by Democrats. St. Clair County now sends 6 Republican legislators to Springfield, and our voice at the capitol is stronger than it’s ever been.

For us to finally turn St. Clair County red – by winning the majority in the County Board and by winning the majority of the Countywide elected positions, we need to continue to work together to listen to our neighbors and to take our message to them.

To increase the level of communication with our neighbors, we need candidates for Precinct Committeeman (PC) in each of the County’s 215 precincts. PCs are the Republican Party’s ears and voice in St. Clair County’s neighborhoods. Our PCs listen to their constituents in their precincts and bring that feedback to the Party to ensure our platform and our candidates align with the perspectives of the County’s conservative voters. Our PCs also communicate to their neighbors the work the Republican Party is doing in the County and the events that the Republican Party sponsors like our upcoming Reagan Day Dinner. By increasing our interaction with County voters, we’ll increase the number who vote for our conservative candidates which will ultimately put more Republicans into office!

Please consider becoming a PC in support of our effort to turn St. Clair County red! We’re having an informational event for those who may be interested in becoming a PC at our HQ on Tuesday, July 11th at 6:30PM. You can also sign-up on our website or contact our Vice-Chairmen of Elections, Michael Butler, at

Here’s US Congressman Mike Bost with his Call to Action!

Petition Circulation For The 2024 Presidential Election Starts In Two Months!

Candidates running for office in the 2024 Presidential Election will begin circulating petitions in early September 2023 with the signed petitions being due in late November 2023. Republican candidates are needed for the following offices:

US House of Representatives

IL 13th Congressional District

IL State House of Representatives

IL State 112th Legislative District
IL State 113th Legislative District

St. Clair County Countywide Positions

County Chairman
State’s Attorney
Circuit Clerk
County Recorder
Board of Review (x2)

St. Clair County Board Districts

District 1
District 6
District 7
District 9
District 10
District 11
District 16

If you’re interested in running for one of these offices, please contact Michael Butler, our Vice-Chairman for Elections, at
Annual Reagan Day Dinner on Thursday, Sep 28th

Please plan to join us for our annual Reagan Day Dinner on Thursday, Sep 28th at 6:30PM at the Fairview Heights Knights of Columbus Hall! Tickets are available on our website.

As a part of the Dinner’s silent auction, we’ll be auctioning theme-based gift baskets. The list of themes is:

Petcare Italian
Elections (tshirts and hats etc.) Mexican
Car care w/ car washes Cleaning products
Halloween Fall/Thanksgiving decor
Christmas decor Candles/oils/wax warmer
Baking/cooking St. Louis Cardinals
St. Louis Blues Wine and other spirits
Home decor

We’re asking members to support the gift basket auction by donating items for the baskets or by creating a basket itself. Items may be purchased on our Amazon Gift Registry. For questions about the Dinner or the gift baskets, please contact Melanie Schaltenbrand at We hope to see you there!
County Board News for June 2023 – By Phil Henning, County Board District 19

1. The Board agreed to assign a “School Resource Officer Program” using a Sheriff’s Deputy for Cahokia District 187. This will be funded by the school district. The SRO will be a certified Peace Officer by the State of Illinois and will remain a Deputy Sheriff. The Memorandum of Understanding outlines specific duties and responsibilities of both agencies.

2. The County will execute an application (Action Plan and Implementation) to the US Department of Housing and Urban Development for the flooded houses program. This is in progress now. The County Intergovernmental Grants Department will administer this program.

3. The Board approved that we postpone and continue to study the consolidation of voting precincts using a model developed for Belleville. This plan reduces 18 Belleville polling places to 9. The County Clerk’s Office will be the responsible agency for input and ideas.

4. We approved the final sale of the St Clair Expo Center (fairgrounds) with Belleville approving their share being sold to St Clair County. This was required to allow the County to implement upgrades and improvements. We are using $14 million in American Rescue Plan funds for necessary renovations and upgrades. Mr. Kern as reported in the Belleville News-Democrat plans to rehabilitate the race track and have a “County Fair” in 2024. The state will provide some funding for this effort.

5. We approved the extension of the Metro Link light rail from Scott-Shiloh to Mid-America. There will be above grade crossings on Reider and Seibert to avoid traffic having to stop for trains every 15-20 minutes during peak operating hours.

6. For Wildwood Lake Estates, we approved a $131,616.35 contract to Rooters Asphalt for “Phase 2” of the project for new asphalt surface on Live Oak Drive. Live Oak is mostly in the Prairie du Long Township Road district.

7. Lt Colonel Tom Knapp of the SCC Sheriff’s Department reported that the jail was over capacity during this reporting period.

8. I submitted my proposal to Lt Colonel Tom Knapp for increased Sheriff road patrol for these villages: Marissa, Lenzburg, New Athens, Fayetteville, Summerfield, and rural areas of Freeburg, Millstadt and Smithton that are in the county. I also brought this up during a discussion with the Public Safety Committee. Sheriff Watson called me and is very open to meeting with the appropriate representatives. Sheriff Watson believes he will need additional 6 road patrol deputies to cover these areas with appropriate patrol coverage.

9. States Attorney Jim Gomric reported the state is going to provide funding for additional Assistant State’s attorneys to handle the increased case load from the Public Safety Enforcement Group which is an Illinois State Police with local law enforcement for increased presence and anti-crime efforts in East St Louis, Cahokia Heights, and Washington Park.

10. A citizen from East St Louis appeared in the public comment period. The reason I’m including this is, it is critical that family of elderly members ensure taxes are paid on their property and that all required surviving (wills, etc) are properly recorded. When property taxes are unpaid, the County holds a tax sale consistent with state law and in 3 years the winning bidder is awarded the property for the taxes and any accrued interest. The citizen was “too late” in proposing she would pay the back taxes as the deed to the property had been recorded. We were unable to assist, and her only option is to approach the bidder and try and buy the land back from him.

Governor Signs IL Senator Harriss’ and IL Representative Elik’s Legislation Into Law

Three bills sponsored by State Senator Erica Harriss (56th-Glen Carbon) and State Representative Amy Elik (111th-Alton) and were signed into law by Governor Pritzker. The Metro East lawmakers’ legislation was included in ninety bills recently signed into law.

Rep. Amy Elik and Sen. Erica Harriss’ legislation signed into law by Governor Pritzker includes honoring Constitution Day in the state, addressing the teacher shortage, and improving background checks on contractors providing transportation for foster children.

Introduced at the request of the Madison County Regional Office of Education, State Senator Erica Harriss and Representative Amy Elik’s legislation signed into law (HB 1273) will commemorate September 17 each year as Constitution Day and shall also be a commemorative holiday within school calendars. Constitution Day is recognized federally but not by the State of Illinois, this will not require schools to close for the holiday.

“It’s my hope through this new law, it will provide students a better understanding of our government and maybe even spark civic engagement in our youth,” said Senator Harriss. It’s extremely important students have a better understanding on the three different branches of government and know their basic rights and guarantees.”

“Not all Illinois schools celebrate or recognize Constitution Day,” said Rep. Elik. “This new law will ensure schools are celebrating and honoring the U.S. Constitution by recognizing the holiday under Illinois law.”

With nearly 3,000 teaching positions left unfilled as of February 2023, State Senator Erica Harriss and State Representative Amy Elik’s legislation (HB 1297) would allow a private school teacher or administrator the option to purchase up to 2 years of service credit if a teacher completed at least 10 years of service as a teacher.

“This is another incentive to encourage former educators to come back to teach in our public schools,” said Rep. Elik. “With almost 3,000 educator positions left unfilled, the legislature needs to continue to find ways to help recruit more educators in Illinois.”

“Our teachers are incredibly important, and this new law will grant educators the flexibility and incentives they deserve to help fill the gap our schools across the entire state are seeing due to the current shortage,” said Senator Harriss.

Recommended by the Illinois State Police, Rep. Elik and Sen. Harriss’ legislation (HB 2618) signed into law seeks to improve background checks on every driver who applies for employment with a transportation provider under contract with the Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS). The new law requires applicants to have their fingerprints electronically submitted to the State Police for criminal history record information. The applicants’ fingerprints will be checked against State Police and Federal FBI criminal history records databases.

“The signing of this bill ensures that individuals transporting a child in the care of the state are who they say they are and is a further protection for some of our state’s most vulnerable youth,” said Senator Harriss. “We have an obligation to improve regulations to make our state agencies better, and this does just that.”

“Strengthening background checks on DCFS transportation providers will improve the safety of all foster children receiving a ride by the state agency provider,” said Rep. Elik. “This improves legislation I sponsored that was signed into law last year that requires proper training for drivers on the installation and operation of a child car seat, possession of a valid driver’s license and an adequate driving record, proof of insurance, and proper vehicle maintenance.”
Be Informed – By Jennifer Korte

Current lawmakers in the Illinois General Assembly have received nearly $133 million in contributions from unions since 2010. Most of that cash went to Democrats.

Unions have contributed nearly $133 million to current Illinois lawmakers’ political committees, according to records with the Illinois State Board of Elections. That cash has gone to 161 of the Illinois General Assembly’s 177 members – more than 9 out of 10. Almost all those funds went to Democrats.

IL 112th District Representative Katie Stuart is bought and paid for by IL unions. She has received $3,209,746 in union contributions since taking office 2017. She’s one of the top 3 representatives in the state in union funding.

So what can be expected from a $133 million investment?

Government unions in Illinois have tremendous power, more than in any other state. The Illinois Constitution, amended in 2022, allows government unions to demand virtually anything in negotiations and provides a permanent right to go on strike to get those demands met. Lawmakers can never restrict the right to strike, what subjects can be negotiated into a contract or which government employees may unionize. Those powers, plus the campaign cash, give government unions a vast advantage when they negotiate their contracts.

Government unions in Illinois also have the power to override state and local laws they don’t like, simply by negotiating contrary provisions in their collective bargaining agreements.

Union cash buys access so they can lobby lawmakers about their chosen policies and political agendas. For example, the Chicago Teachers Union has given more than $2.9 million to current lawmakers, according to Illinois State Board of Elections data. CTU has logged support or opposition over 1,360 times on at least 480 bills between 2011-2022, according to data obtained by the Illinois Policy Institute from the Illinois General Assembly. It’s a powerful dynamic over what goes on in Springfield, unmatched by the residents of Illinois.

The nearly $133 million in union money went to 57 of 59 Illinois senators and 104 of 118 Illinois representatives between Jan. 1, 2010, and June 6, 2023. State Sen. Cristina Pacione-Zayas, D-Chicago, was included as a sitting lawmaker because she was in office during the General Assembly’s spring 2023 session.

While some of the money was received earlier in lawmakers’ political careers and not while seated in the General Assembly, the receipt of union funds over the period of more than a decade charts a long history of support by unions. Almost all of union political contributions went to Democrats. Of the nearly $133 million contributed to Illinois lawmakers, nearly $125.5 million – or 94% – has gone to Democrats. Only $7.3 million – or 6% – has gone to Republicans.

The average total donation Democratic lawmakers have received from unions is over $1 million, with the median falling at over $595,000. The average total donations to Republican lawmakers is less than $127,000, with the median falling at less than $11,000.

Government unions have the upper hand. They can demand virtually anything and go on strike to get their demands met. Lawmakers are prohibited from diminishing those rights.

Unions pour millions of dollars into the political campaigns of lawmakers. Previous research has found unions, as a block, significantly out-fund private corporations in giving to lawmakers. Unions, including Illinois’ powerful government unions, then lobby lawmakers on the policies they support or oppose. Often, those policies have nothing to do with a union’s members or the sector of employment it represents. Take the Chicago Teachers Union, which has lobbied against specifically criminalizing the knowing destruction of critical infrastructure facilities, such as nuclear facilities. Negotiations, political funding, lobbying: It’s a powerful trifecta, driving the policies that affect all Illinoisans.
Republican Day at the IL State Fair on Thursday, August 17th

The gates open for the Republican Day event on the Director’s Lawn at 11:30AM, and the program starts at noon. The first 1000 people to register for the event at Republican Day will receive free tickets for:

1) FREE admission onto the fairgrounds (you pay for parking)
2) A FREE BBQ lunch at the Republican Day event
3) Admission into the Republican Day Rally event itself

Everyone else over the first 1,000 registrants will be issued a simple ticket allowing them admission into the Republican Day event but NOT free admission onto the fairgrounds and NOT a free BBQ lunch. You will find out if you have a FREE fairgrounds/lunch ticket on Saturday, August 12th via your email.

We hope to see you there!
IL Lawmakers Get $4,250 Raise Just Months After $12,000 Raise

Illinois state lawmakers had tried to bump their pay by 5.5%, but that violated the state constitution. They must settle for 5%, meaning they will make nearly $90,000 a year.

Illinois state lawmakers are set to receive a $4,250 pay bump for their cost of living, just months after Gov. J.B. Pritzker signed off on more than a $12,000 raise for legislators at the start of 2023.

They wanted more. Lawmakers tried to give themselves a 5.5% boost, but the Illinois Constitution limits cost-of-living increases to 5% or the rate of inflation, whichever is lower.

Pritzker adjusted the amount through his broad veto powers as he signed the new budget into law. In his veto notice, he said it was evident the error was “inadvertent” and that lawmakers “intended for the amounts set forth in Senate Bill 250 simply to implement the salaries provided by law.”

Illinois lawmaker salaries were already among the highest in the nation. The latest pay bump pushes their annual salary to nearly $90,000. Only California, New York, and Pennsylvania pay their legislators more than Illinois.

Among states where legislatures are considered less than “full-time,” Illinois’ lawmakers are the highest paid, according to data from the National Conference of State Legislatures. The NCSL classifies Illinois as “full-time lite,” meaning they serve smaller districts and work shorter sessions than full-time lawmakers, but are highly paid, employ large staffs and perform legislative work for at least 80% of their jobs. Illinois lawmakers are in session for about 70 days a year.

The latest 5% pay bump means Illinois legislators’ base salary will increase from $85,000 to $89,250. The latest increase also means the base salary for lawmakers has risen by $21,414 during Pritzker’s time in office so far. Since 2020, lawmaker pay has risen in Illinois more than any other state except New York. Compensation for Illinois lawmakers has now increased by $19,786 since 2020.

While lawmakers have secured pay raises that far outpace the near-record inflation experienced in 2022, Illinoisans’ incomes have failed to keep up. Workers are facing one of the highest unemployment rates in the nation, and the state’s tax burden continues a meteoric rise.

Illinoisans’ everyday costs increase once again July 1. The 1% grocery tax will return after being suspended by Pritzker during his reelection campaign. Illinois is one of just 13 states to tax groceries. Illinoisans will also face their second gas tax hike in six months July 1, with the state adding 45.4 cents a gallon compared to 19 cents before Pritzker took office.

Instead of focusing their efforts on even more pay boosts for themselves, lawmakers should have focused on providing relief to Illinoisans by eliminating the grocery tax and ending automatic gas tax increases.

The Republican Women’s Club Of St. Clair County Invites All Republican Women To Attend Their Monthly Meetings

The Republican Women’s Club of St. Clair County meets on the first Monday of each month at O’Town Food Hall & Tap House located at 1214 Central Park Drive in O’Fallon. Supper and fellowship begin at 6PM, and the meeting starts at 7PM.

Please join us as we work together, have fun, and share information in a positive setting. You will meet fellow Republicans, Republican candidates, and Republican elected officials at our meetings and gain valuable knowledge on important issues related to St. Clair County.

For more info, please contact Mary Thurman, President, by phone at 618-550-5751 or via email at
St. Clair County Republican Party 2023 Sustaining Membership

At our 2023 Lincoln Day Gala, Illinois Republican Party Chairman Don Tracy congratulated the St. Clair County Republican Party for flipping the Illinois 56th State Senate District seat to Erica Conway Harriss and the Illinois 114th State House District seat to Kevin Schmidt. St. Clair County was one of the few places in Illinois where Republicans made gains at the state level in the 2022 Midterm Elections. In St. Clair County, we had the strongest slate of candidates on the ballot in our Party’s recent history with candidates for all but one countywide position and all but three County Board seats. We came very close to flipping three countywide positions and winning new County Board seats.

In large part, these successes were attributable to the financial support that we received in 2022 from Republicans in St. Clair County. That support allowed us to host monthly Candidate Table events across the County in order to introduce our local candidates to County voters. We also hosted Illinois Governor and US Senate Forums to introduce our statewide candidates to voters in southern Illinois. Donations allowed us to mail out tens of thousands of voter education cards to County voters to ensure they knew the Republicans running for office at the County and State levels. Our new website,, was built with funds donated by County Republicans.

As we look ahead to the 2024 Presidential Election, we have a lot of work to do in 2023 to prepare for the 2024 Presidential Election. Our goal is straightforward, we want to increase the number of votes for Republican candidates from St. Clair County voters in order to win seats at the County, State, and National levels. Specifically, we will be focused on creating an effective Vote By Mail (VBM) program in St. Clair County, on expanding our outreach to independent and soft Democrat voters in St. Clair County, and on broadly communicating our Republican value proposition.

In order to ensure we’re able to accomplish these goals, please consider becoming a 2023 Sustaining Member of the St. Clair County Republican Party. Our website’s Sustaining Membership Page describes our nine different Sustaining Membership levels and the gifts associated with each.

We’re making progress in St. Clair County. However, we have much more to do to stop the attack on our southern Illinois values from Chicago Democrats. We can do this if we work together and stand for what we believe. Thanks for your continued support in turning St. Clair County red!
Our Elected Republican Officials’ Websites

Jason Plummer, IL State Senator for the 55th District –
Erica Harriss, IL State Senator for the 56th District –
Terri Bryant, IL State Senator for the 58th District –

Charlie Meier, IL State Representative for the 109th District –
Kevin Schmidt, IL State Representative for the 114th District –
David Freiss, IL State Representative for the 115th District –

Do You Have Information That Is Of Interest To Our Members?

If so, please send it to us at so that can publish it in an upcoming issue of the St. Clair County Republican Party Membership Newsletter.