Republicans Talk Party Unity, Term Limits at Annual Dinner
The annual Lincoln Day Dinner in Jo Daviess County is a big party for the Republican party, giving members a chance to get together and get a jump start on the next campaign season.
A lot of Republicans we talked to at Saturday night's event said a big challenge they are facing now is reuniting a divided party.
Many attendees told us they wanted to bring the party back together for the sake of furthering the ideals and policies most Republicans do agree on.
We've seen a visible rift in the GOP in recent weeks and months, including having three separate Republican responses to the president's State of the Union address - one from the traditional GOP group, one from the Tea Party, and one from Republican Senator Rand Paul.
Analysts say that flurry of responses reflected a widening ideological divide in the party.
Some of the Republicans we spoke to at the Lincoln Dinner in Galena told us they have to close that divide to be successful in the future.
"If we're together on 80-percent of the issues then we're one and that's what we've got to get to. I'm not going to agree with any candidate 100-percent, but at the same time we've got to look at the destruction of this great state and then make sure we get behind whoever our candidates are," Republican Congressional Candidate Bobby Schilling explained.
"The Democratic party has been pretty successful, they will have a Donny Brooke through the primary and once it's over they do come together and that's the lesson that we do need to learn. And it'll probably be emphasized tonight, once March 18th is over we'll have a candidate for governor and other candidates and we have to support hose candidates," said Republican State Sen. Tim Bivins.
Many of the Republican candidates at the Lincoln Day dinner also spoke in favor of legislation calling for term limits within the state of Illinois. There's a petition to get the issue on the ballot to make that a Constitutional amendment.
Democrats hold their own versions of this Lincoln Day dinner. For example, the Rock Island County Democratic Party will be holding its annual Unity Dinner on March 25th at the American Legion in Moline.