GENESEO — Henry County Board member Rick Livesay set the tone for a Republican gathering Saturday morning with his huge combine adorned with a Schilling for Congress sign.
Republican candidates for federal, state and local office held a public meet-and-greet at the Country Store west of Geneseo.
Besides Mr. Livesay, other county board candidates who attended were Kathy Nelson, Tim Wells, Bill Preston, Jon Zahm, Jacob Waller and Marvin Gradert. Circuit clerk candidate Jackie Oberg also attended.
State Rep. Don Moffitt, of Gilson, who is seeking his 11th term, said the new 74th District puts Geneseo and Atkinson, and parts of Kewanee, in his district for the first time.
Rep. Gilson said he's voted against all, or parts, of the state budget for a decade, but the last two budgets have been balanced with conservative estimates of revenue so he has voted for those. He said working at the state's backlog of deficits is crucial.
"In Henry County, ag is the No. 1 industry, as well as in the state of Illinois," he said. "I'm one of the few farmers in the General Assembly. I can be a voice for ag."
He said he had been helping his son in the fields until 10:30 the night before.
"It's an honor to serve, and I never forget who it is that sent me there," he said.
Ms. Nelson said there was a lot of energy in the room."People were interested and engaged. They want to be involved. People were here to learn and meet their candidates. I think that's great."
"I'm sure all the people here were good upstanding Republicans so it's a little like talking to the choir, but people here were positive," Mr. Preston said.
Mr. Zahm said it was great that neighbor Bobby Schilling, in one of the 10 closest Congressional races in the country, took the time to be in Geneseo."He really hasn't forgotten where his roots are."
Resident Marjorie Lewis spoke to Rep. Moffitt after the official remarks, telling him her daughter-in-law in Knoxville "thought the world of him" for help she'd received.
And yes, Ms. Lewis said she planned to vote for him."No question there."
Today is Monday, March 10, the 69th day of 2014. There are 296 days left in the year. 1864 -- 150 years ago: Numerous counterfeiters are around, taking advantage of the influx of currency to pass their worthless trash. 1889 -- 125 years ago: J.J. Reimers, secretary and treasurer of the Rock Island Lumber and Manufacturing Co., on behalf of that firm, contributed $500 toward construction of a new Methodist church. 1914 -- 100 years ago: Samuel Ryerson, county recorder, was re-elected president of the 19th District of Knights of Pythias. 1939 -- 75 years ago: Three condemnation suits have been filed by the city of Rock Island to acquire property needed for an approach to the Rock Island-Davenport bridge, which has been under construction since March 6. 1964 -- 50 years ago: Plans for an eight-story Sheraton Inn in downtown Rock Island were announced today at a luncheon meeting at the Gay Nineties sponsored by the Rock Island Chamber of Commerce. Cost of the structure is estimated at $2.5 million. 1989 -- 25 years ago: Representatives of the Hardee's Golf Classic and tournament sponsor Hardee's Food Systems may meet next week with PGA Tour Commissioner Deane Beman to discuss a possible change in the tournament dates.