Walking through the crowded entrance to the Crowne Plaza in Springfield, there was a steady buzz in the air as Illinois Democrats stopped and gathered in groups to chat about upcoming local, state and federal elections. Sponsored by the Democratic County Chairman Association, the Governor’s Brunch is always anticipated by party loyalists who were welcomed by ILDCC President Alan Pirtle of Monroe County.
Elected officials, candidates and ardent Democrats turned out to listen to our state-wide officials, including the ever popular Secretary of State Jesse White who announced his intention to run for a fourth term. Attorney General Lisa Madigan reminded everyone why she has been the most popular Illinois Attorney General when she spoke about the importance of advocating for the less fortunate. Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon told the audience about her continued work in education reform and invited everyone to stop by and listen to her playing at the State Fair. Focusing on his affinity and commitment to our military, Gov. Pat Quinn honored our veterans and spoke about key legislation from the past year. He introduced his friend and keynote speaker, Montana Gov. Brian Schweitzer, who gave a stirring and powerful speech about the importance of healthcare in the United States. Schweitzer reminded all of us why 2012 will be crucial to the re-election of President Barack Obama, as well as trying to take back control of the House of Representatives.
Board members and regional chairs of Illinois Democratic Women joined the other 2000 plus Democrats in enthusiastically supporting the Democratic Party. Attending were former IDW President Susan Shea, 1st VP Jamie Crain, 2nd VP Laura Fletcher, State Regional Chair Kim Savage and Co-President Pam Monetti. We also had several regional chairs at our table including Jackie Traynere, Chris Winick and Marlo Barnett. After the Brunch, several members headed to the State Fair to set up a table to recruit new members. Democrat Day on the Director’s Lawn at the Illinois State Fairgrounds gave participants the opportunity to listen to the speakers, an opportunity to see old friends and make new friends as we all discussed today’s political environment. The day ended with a fundraiser for Gov. Quinn with Gov. Schweitzer taking the time to pose for pictures and talk to Illinois Democrats.