A longtime local GOP leader said Thursday she wants to succeed Chuck Erickson as chair of the McLean County Republican Party.
Connie Beard, a local real estate agent, told GLT she plans to run for chair. She's previously served as vice chairman of the McLean County Republican Party’s executive committee. She’s also worked on or supported several Republican campaigns, including Erika Harold for Congress in 2013 and U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood. She also worked on her son Jacob’s successful run for McLean County Board in 2016.
Erickson, a lawyer and McLean County Board member, announced this week that he won’t be seeking re-election as party chairman when his term expires in April. In a statement obtained by GLT, Connie Beard praised Erickson’s leadership. She said his “self-sacrifice and dedication” have provided “important building blocks on which to stand firm as we continue to strengthen the impact” of the party.
In her statement, Beard said she plans to gather “fresh ideas” from the party’s network of precinct committeemen. She said she wants to promote the party’s principles through “public forums and multimedia sources” in McLean County, specifically focusing on municipal government.
The next GOP chair will face a tough election cycle almost immediately. Democrats and Libertarians are challenging Republican incumbents in more local races, targeting longtime state representatives and a countywide officeholder. Erickson has said local Republicans will need to redouble their efforts to fight off the challenge. “If you’re not ready for it, you’re gonna get mowed over by it,” Erickson said.
The next party chair will be elected at the county GOP convention in April.
Beard is also founded of the nonprofit Crossroads Area Student Theater.
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