Republican Candidate Banned From County Fair

(What follows is the text of an email I shared with my supporters today.)

My dear friends,

I’m sorry to be cluttering your inboxes again so soon, but I wanted you hear what happened today in my campaign to unseat the RINO Sandy Cole. Following up yesterday’s message (quoted below) in which I told you that I planned to be at the Lake County Fair, I wanted to tell you about the funny thing that happened to me at the fair:

I was kicked out of the Republican booth.

Traditionally, the Republican booth at the Lake County Fair has been a place where all Republican candidates have been welcome to present their information and make contact with the voters. Even primary challengers to Republican incumbents have historically been welcomed there.

No more.

Two hours after I arrived at the booth this morning, with no warning, after no incident, I was informed by Avon Township Chairman Bob Powers that “[Lake County GOP Chairman] Dan [Venturi] says no candidates, elected officials only.” He handed me my small stack of handbills, the only materials I had placed on the table. I pointed out to him that only 8 days earlier, at last Monday’s meeting of the Lake County GOP central committee, he had himself announced that candidates would be welcome. Mr. Powers told me that he had quit any organizational authority for the booth last Friday, and that it was Mr. Venturi’s project now. I left quietly without making a scene. I attempted to call Chairman Venturi, but was told he was unavailable, and would return my call later. Hours later, he has not called.

What happened in that two hours? Certainly nothing negative I did. Some of that time I spent in the booth, greeting and chatting with the few passers-by that stopped, and some of it I spent wandering the hall, visiting other booths to talk to interested people. I had nothing but cordial conversations with anyone. But during that time, someone called Sandy Cole, and she came personally to bring more campaign materials and displays, and then she called Dan Venturi, to demand that he kick me out of the booth. As I left, I noticed that the “Mark Kirk for U.S. Senate” signs remained prominently displayed.

I had already learned two things about fear in this race: 1.) Sandy Cole is afraid of me. Desperately so. The premise of my campaign is that an underfunded conservative can beat an incumbent liberal in a Republican primary. I believe I can. I think it’s evident that Sandy Cole thinks I can, too. 2.) The Republican establishment in Lake County is afriad of Sandy Cole. The things I have been told by people in the party who want privately to support me but who fear publicly to do so had led me to believe this, but this incident confirms it in my mind.

This is an important incident, and it will lead to important consequences for Sandy Cole and the Lake County GOP.

In the meantime, take note: there is no “big tent” GOP in Lake County. Standing up for conservative Republican principles against entrenched interests will not be tolerated by the party’s current elected leaders. But there is nothing protecting the party’s elected leaders from an influx of conservatives running for precint committeemen, and then voting them out of office. If you’re reading these words, and live in Illinois, it’s time and past time for conservatives to take back the GOP.

And to the other reform-minded candidates, local or statewide, who might have planned to campaign here, be warned.

In my run for the Republican nomination for state representative in Illinois’ 62nd district, I have met a lot of people, and gained a lot of encouragement. It’s already been a big education for me, and I have been truly humbled at the response I have gotten in my effort to present Republican voters in Lake County with a true conservative alternative to Sandy Cole.

Tomorrow, the campaign enters a new phase.

For much of the rest of this week, I’ll be campaigning at the Lake County Fair; look for me in the Republican booth. Coming up, I’ll be at the Young Republicans picnic on August 8th, I’ll be in the Gurnee Days parade on August 16th, and I’ll be at the RALC picnic on August 23rd. I’ll be getting my name out and making my voice heard in some important venues and to some important audiences.

And I’d like you to be there with me.

If you’d like to come to a picnic, march in a parade, or help me work the fair, please reply to this email! There’s more information about these events available at my campaign website at http://www.paulfor62.com and I’d very much like to have you there.

Also, we’ll soon begin going door-to-door to collect the thousand signatures we’ll need to secure a place on the primary ballot. This is a very important task, and I’m going to need as much help with it as I can get. If you’d like to help, please reply to this email, or sign up at the campaign website.

In the meantime, please help me spread the word about this campaign. Please forward this email to your own lists, and tell your friends and families about our effort.

Thanks for your support!

– Paul Mitchell

(Visit my campaign website at Paulfor62.com)