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Brad Halbrook Endorsed By GOP House Leader Tom Cross, Congressman John Shimkus, Rep Chapin Rose, Sen Kyle McCarter

Not many still sitting on fence for Halbrook GOP primary run

Journal Gazette- Times Courier
Mattoon-Charleston, IL

CHARLESTON — Don Jones, a Southern Illinois oil businessman, summed up his trust in Brad Halbrook, candidate for the 110th State Representative seat, in simple terms.

“Brad built a fence on my farm and it’s still standing,” said Jones during Friday’s Republican Unity Night dinner at Unique Suites and Banquet in Charleston. Jones believes Halbrook will keep his word as a state lawmaker and help clean up Springfield.

Few Republicans were sitting on the fence over Halbrook, a Shelby County businessman. They believe he can close the gate on irresponsible state spending and lock out tax-and-spend career politicians.

The event was also about party fence mending for a Republican primary that had turned contentious in recent weeks.

A week ago, unity seemed a pipe dream with three candidates vying for the nomination, Halbrook, Roger Eddy and Kevin Garner. Then Eddy, a long-term incumbent seeking the party nomination for the reconfigured district, withdrew from the race after accepting an executive position with the Illinois Association of School Boards. Eddy is a school administrator as well as a lawmaker.

“One phone call changes a lot of things,” Halbrook said before the speeches in the banquet hall while recalling the momentous turn of events the previous weekend. “I thought it was a rumor at first and then it developed into the press release he issued Sunday evening. How do you react to something like that? There is a wide range of emotions.”

State Rep. Tom Cross, Illinois House of Representatives Minority Leader, said the momentum for Halbrook must continue through the primary and on into the general election campaign.

“We still have a lot of work to do,” Cross said when he took the podium before more than 200 Republicans from many downstate counties in Illinois. “We need to be there for Brad. And we need to stick together after the primary.”

Others state officials standing up for Halbrook were State Rep. Chapin Rose, now running for a state senate district outside Coles County due to redistricting, and Kyle McCarter, a Republican state senator from Lebanon, and the man who gained the trust from Halbrook as Shelby County Republican chairman. State Sen. Dale Righter also attended the event.

“We’re looking for people we can trust,” McCarter said of Halbrook. “He’s a man who has worked all his life with his hands.”

Halbrook used some simple phrasing to get his platform across Friday, drawing applause repeatedly from the audience.

“We need to open the books. We should have every dime online on time,” Halbrook said. He summed up the state government’s situation as “the laughingstock of the nation” and “an economic basket case.”

He also called for forensic auditing in Springfield, comparing it to what his fencing business faces on reporting to government agencies.

“In God we trust but in politicians we audit,” he said.

He also expressed conservative values on social issues and called for a repeal of last year’s state tax hike and for term limits as well as cutting pensions and health care packages to part-time state legislators.

Contact Meeker at hmeeker@jg-tc.com or 238-6869

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