The Illinois Republican Party will hold a nonbinding presidential straw poll Nov. 5, three months before Republicans in Iowa and New Hampshire hold their first-in-the-nation caucus and primary.
The Illinois straw poll will take place one year before the general election, the state GOP announced at a dinner fundraiser in Chicago on Saturday night. Illinois’ GOP presidential primary will be held in March 2012.
“We hope to bring the time and attention of the presidential candidates to Illinois,” Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.) said in a release. “New Hampshire and Iowa should not have all the fun.”
Potential Republican presidential candidates were in the audience for the Saturday night fundraiser, which celebrated the late President Ronald Reagan’s 100th birthday. Former Speaker Newt Gingrich (Ga.), former Sen. Rick Santorum (Pa.) and former Ambassador John Bolton attended, as did Rep. Mike Pence (Ind.), who announced in late January that he would not run for president.
Illinois, the home state of President Barack Obama (D), is unlikely to be contested in the general election.
From left, Rep. Christopher H. Smith, R-N.J., David Goldman, the father of a child who was abducted to Brazil by the mother, and Arvind Chawdra, a father whose two children were abducted to India by their mother, attend a news conference in the Rayburn House Office Building on international child abduction.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.