News Report Staff

Effingham County Republicans will welcome Gov. Bruce Rauner and gubernatorial challenger State Rep. Jeanne Ives to the Lincoln Day luncheon, scheduled for Sunday, March 4, at Altamont’s Carriage Event Center.

The top candidates for the Republican gubernatorial nomination will speak before the meal, scheduled to begin at 1:15 p.m. Other state GOP candidates for statewide offices, Illinois General Assembly seats, and federal offices are expected to speak during the major fundraiser for the Effingham County Central Committee.

Local Republican candidates have been invited, as well, including County Treasurer candidates Sheila Braun and Paula Miller.

“The format we have is Gov. Rauner will be speaking at 12:45, and then Rep. Ives will follow him,” explained Rob Arnold, County Central Committee Chairman. “We usually have this event with nighttime dinners, but we have tried luncheons before because we try to accommodate the candidates and their schedules as much as we can.”

Another advantage of having the event at lunch on a Sunday is other candidates can speak for a few minutes to the crowd after the meal.

“We’ll give them a few minutes to speak on whatever issues they want,” Arnold said.

There will be a social time for mingling with some candidates before the gubernatorial candidates take the podium. That period starts at noon.

Arnold said Rauner and Ives are committed to the event, but any last-minute emergencies could prevent their attendance.

The local Republican leadership is excited about having the Lincoln Day event at Carriage Event Center, located on the south side of Altamont, a short distance from the Interstate 70 ramps. The Altamont Event Center opened a few years ago.

“This is the first time we have held this event there. I have been to other events there and it is an impressive site,” Arnold said.

The Lincoln Day Luncheon will have some “big guns” from government to draw a crowd, but a drawing will offer some firearms for helping with the fundraising. One firearm that will draw attention is a semi-automatic commemorative version of a Thompson submachine gun, based on a 1927 A1 design of the legendary Tommy Guns from the Roaring Twenties. A 410 shotgun will also be given away through the drawing. You must have a valid Firearm Owners Identification Card to be eligible for these gun drawings.

To obtain tickets for the meal or the gun drawings, contact Arnold at 217-821-5592 or check with any Republican precinct committee member in Effingham County.