CHICAGO - Chicago Republicans gathered at their Lincoln Park headquarters Saturday to rake in information on how to set up campaigns and get ready for the upcoming 2014 election season, starting after Labor Day 2013.
"Republicans are alive and well in Chicago, and we're getting that information out," with coordinated efforts in local media and the Internet, Chicago GOP Communications Director Chris Cleveland said.
And all their work is paying off, if Saturday's turnout gives hint of the group's effectiveness. Candidates willing to get in Congressional, state legislature and county races were soaking up the information the Leadership Institute team offered.
The nationally-recogized Leadership Institute provided trainers Tom Schultz, along with Collin Corbett and Jeremy Rose of Cor Strategies. The instruction covered topics such as the real nature of politics, communications, fundraising, campaign planning, social media, and campaign strategy.
During the working lunch, a panel discussed effective ways to get candidates' messages out through new and traditional media. Chicago GOP's Chris Cleveland, Illinois Policy Institute's Diana Rickert, who was appearing in her capacity as a citizen, and Illinois Review editor Fran Eaton answered questions and shared ideas on the ever-changing media environment in Illinois.
"As far as we're concerned, conservatives have an unparalleled opportunity to bypass non-cooperative media and take their messages directly to their intended audience through the Internet, Twitter and Facebook," Eaton said. "And the conservative message is one that provides needed answers in a time when all else has failed."
Corbett said two more Chicago area candidate trainings are planned for September 21 and 28 - the 21st in Northern Cook County and 28th in Southern Cook County. He encourages anyone interested in being a candidate or helping a candidate to spend a Saturday learning how to effectively win in 2014.
As with the previous three other classes already held, URF Action and Illinois Review will be hosting the training along with Leadership Institute.