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Normal Council's Scott Preston Considers Run For McLean County GOP Chair

Cristian Jaramillo
Normal Town Council member Scott Preston at a GLT candidates forum.

Normal Town Council member Scott Preston said Thursday he’s considering a run for McLean County Republican Party chair.

Preston, who serves on the party’s executive committee as vice chair for Normal, said several local Republican leaders have asked him to consider it.

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“I’m exploring it. I have not made a decision one way or the other. That’s a decision I certainly don’t take lightly. I’m honored that people would think of me in that respect,” he said.

"As we look to this next cycle, what unites us far outweighs what divides us."

Preston is the second person to express an interest in the county chair position since Chuck Erickson announced last month he planned to step down in April. Connie Beard, a former executive committee member, has already announced plans to run. In his own announcement, Erickson said he would not be endorsing a successor.

In 2013 Preston became the youngest person ever elected to the Normal Town Council, at age 25. (That position is nonpartisan.) Now 30, he’s president of a real estate development and investment company. He previously served as an assistant to the Illinois State Treasurer.

Preston praised Erickson’s tenure as chair. He said there is an “incredible opportunity” now to build up the party’s infrastructure and cultivate a “farm team” that would become the next generation of candidates for local races.

When asked about the effect of President Donald Trump on local Republican candidates, Preston said the party’s focus should be on local issues.

“As we look to this next cycle, what unites us far outweighs what divides us,” he said. “That overcomes all else when you’re talking internally about the party.”

Preston acknowledged that McLean County Democrats are energized heading into the March 20 primary and Nov. 6 general election.

“Competition is a good thing. It keeps us all on our toes,” he said.

The new McLean County GOP chair will be chosen by party leaders in April.

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Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.
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