Illinois State Treasurer Dan Rutherford rallied hundreds of Republicans on Thursday with a rousing speech in Rock Island County.
Speaking at the annual Ronald Reagan Barbeque at Kenny Bush Farms near Andalusia, Mr. Rutherford had a message for one local political family who has been a foe of Rock Island County Republicans for decades.
"I want the county board in this county to have a majority of Republicans on that board," Mr. Rutherford said. "I got to tell you, that Jacobs family will just not know what hit them when we get done with them -- and that's OK; we can wake them up."
Later, at a Democratic event, former Democratic state Sen. Denny Jacobs responded to Mr. Rutherford's challenge.
"We'll talk about that after the election," he said.
Republicans are running 23 candidates for the Rock Island County Board and talking up their chances of becoming its majority party. Mr. Rutherford, who also chairs Mitt Romney's Illinois presidential campaign, called on his party to be more inclusive and said his 2010 election as state treasurer over Robin Kelly should inspire local Republicans.
"When I decided I was going to take this on, I looked at my friends here in Rock Island County," he said. "They looked at me like, how is this nice, white, male, conservative, central Illinois Republican going to win in this state, especially when my opponent was an African-American female, liberal, city of Chicago Democrat, with an Irish last name."
An estimated 500 people attended the event, with the biggest applause coming when state Rep. Rich Morthland, R-Cordova -- still recovering from being head-butted by one of his cows -- limped toward the stage, his leg in a brace.
While introducing Rep. Morthland, U.S. Rep. Bobby Schilling, R-Colona, quipped, "Don't worry, Rich, we are going to save Medicare for you."
Today is Sunday, May 19, the 139th day of 2013. There are 226 days left in the year. 1863 -- 150 years ago: The Rt. Rev. Harry I. Witherspoon, D.D. Bishop of Illinois, willpreach in Trinity (Episcopal) Church, in this city this evening. 1888 -- 125 years ago: At 1 o'clock yesterday afternoon the Mississippi River flooded itsbanks at Rock Island, destroying the warehouse of the Rock Island Lumber companyand damaging the Lumber Company and arsenal power plant. Total loss isestimated at $100.000. 1913 -- 100 years ago: Residents of South Rock Island township are circulating a petitionfavoring the annexation of that area to the city of Rock Island. 1938 -- 75 years ago: Mrs. Thomas Ackles, of Rock Island, has been elected president ofthe Playcrafters for the next season. She succeeds Warren Leonard. 1963 -- 50 years ago: Some 8,000 people filed through the gates of Rock Island Arsenal on Saturday to view a display of a part of the nation's armed strength. The occasion was theannual observance of Armed Forces Day. 1988 -- 25 years ago: Willis Kuschmann, of Moline, who already has won his laurels as oneof the most artistic men in the Quad-Cities area, has a new hobby. He is deeply involvedin miniature railroading. At the age of 88, when many other seniors are dozing in theirchairs or sitting before the television, Mr. Kuschmann is planning and working on hiscollection.