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New RI County GOP Chairman

Republicans in Rock Island County have chosen a new leader. On Saturday, party members elected Mike Steffen to be the new chairman, and fill the un-expired term of Suzie Carpentier who recently announced her resignation. Steffen says he's worked hard in recent years to recruit precinct committeemen, and the number of precincts with a GOP committeeman has risen from 30 to 40 per cent, up to the current level of 70 per cent.

"I was very active in finding Rock Island County board candidates a year ago - they ran in 2012. We need to do more of that. We need to keep presenting to the public good, qualified, conservative candidates."

As county chairman, he'll continue recruiting people for active roles in the party, and do whatever he can to support the five GOP members on the Rock Island County board. Steffen wants to help downsize the board from its current size of 25 members.

"In the last election, 72 % of the Rock Island County voters voted to have it happen. I feel the current board leadership is not listening to the people but they keep throwing up one objection after another."

He also thinks the party needs to do a better job of reaching out to minorities, because in his words, "their concerns are our concerns."

Steffen teaches at a middle school in Galesburg, but intends to retire one year from now, and run for a full, two-year term as county chairman.