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Connie Beard to resign as McLean County Republican Party chair

Connie Beard has served as local GOP chair since 2018, succeeding Chuck Erickson.

The chair of the McLean County Republican Party, Connie Beard, said Tuesday she will resign effective immediately. The party’s vice chair, Dennis Grundler, will succeed her.

Beard said she was resigning “due to a local change of residence and family needs.” The move comes about a month after a disappointing election for McLean County Republicans, in which Democrats achieved an even power-sharing split on the County Board and won seats representing Bloomington-Normal in the U.S. House, Illinois House, and Illinois Senate. Beard herself said “it makes no sense in sugarcoating the results,” which she called a “disappointment.”

“I am extremely grateful for the support I have been given over these years and friendships that have developed. There will be a couple of months of personal tasks I must tend to, but I will return to helping behind the scenes in a new role as Chairman Emeritus,” Beard said in a statement Tuesday. “As we have lowered the average age of our GOP board considerably with our last convention, I am pleased and confident that Dennis will be able to lead our party with fresh ideas and vigor. The fight for our founding principles must carry on and I pray the younger generations will pick up the torch and lead. Our family is staying in Illinois so I will continue to work for a better McLean County. This community is worth the sacrifice.”

Grundler, of Downs, will serve out the rest of Beard’s chair term until the 2024 primary. Among his first tasks is helping to choose who will fill vacant seats left by retiring state Sen. Jason Barickman and state Rep. Keith Sommer, who have both announced their resignations.

Beard has served as local GOP chair since 2018, succeeding Chuck Erickson.

This story will be updated.

Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.