"Does Representative David Leitch possess the boyish charm of Jack Kennedy? The compelling eloquence of Barrack Obama? The stealthy, wily intrigue of Bill Clinton? No, not at all, ladies and gentlemen. THAT is the point!"
Those are the words spoken by Joe O'Neill as he introduced State Representative David Leitch to a gathering of friends and community leaders at his annual "Leaders for Leitch" fundraiser Monday night at the Peoria Country Club. David Leitch is seeking re-election to his Twelfth term in the Illinois General Assembly. The room was nearly at capacity as approximately 400 community leaders from throughout Central Illinois gathered to recognize the excellence in advocacy they receive at the hands of Representative David Leitch.
Below are Joe's remarks in their entirety.
The David Leitch message of Republican Conservatism IS a message of Hope; and I don’t say that tongue in cheek, because we all know our current president ran on such a message.
The David Leitch definition of Hope is not quite the same.
His Hope is founded upon the strongest, most ardent belief in the individual, in the self.
His Hope is founded upon the belief of what each of you can do, each and every day, when you get out of bed, but you have to try.
His Hope is a belief that we are upon this earth to always strive to be better than we are, to have a beneficial impact on the world in which we live.
His Hope is our belief in our common humanity, NOT our cultural weaknesses.
And if I might be so bold as to steal the message that our President OBama gave to students of America last week: Stay In School, Work Hard, and, no matter what your home life, no excuses!
Ladies and Gentlemen, if that is not a conservative message, I don’t know what is.
This is the message, the HOPE, of David Leitch.
And I look at David Leitch.
A Representative who tirelessly works to support legislation that gives dignity and respect back to the individual.
Who does not waste time questioning the motives of his fellow legislators, Democrat or Republican.
David Leitch absolutely refuses to engage the utterly needless, adolescent bickering of so many politicians and pundits these days.
His list of achievements and awards is nearly as long as the list of tournaments that Tiger Woods has won.
He has received these acknowledgements for extremely good reason.
FOR TO BE CLEAR, his conservative message of hope is not strict dogma, not a matter of blind, unthinking, faith, not a nearly malicious fixation on a particular philosophy.
Because he knows, as we all know, that there are people who truly cannot help themselves.
After Joe's remarks, David addressed the crowd with his typical dry wit and deadpan which served to confirm the many reasons we, his constituency find him so appealing.
Some other interesting comments from the evening came from Jim Owens, CEO of Caterpillar, who reflected back on the difficulties and realities of the last fiscal year. According to Owens, the stunning drop in demand last year for Caterpillar products was unprecedented. They had not seen numbers like these since the 1930's. "Demand for our product dropped in the neighborhood of 65 - 80%", Jim explained. The audience gasped. Despite those numbers, the company will still end up in the black - and he gives full credit to his dedicated employees. He says they have tolerated lay-offs, rolling layoffs, and cuts in benefits, with virtually no grumbling. "People understand, and we have stood together, and we have weathered the storm together." The reverence that he feels towards his employees and their sacrifices is genuine - I'm certain. His remarks were very moving.
Jim Owens does indeed seem to be a remarkable leader and he, along with many others has thrown his full support behind the work that Rep. David Leitch has done on behalf of citizens and business in Central Illinois.
Currently, the Leitch camp is not aware of a primary opponent. However, they will not know for certain until primary petitions are filed October 26. The Democrats could potentially appoint someone to the ballot after the February primary to run against him as well. Regardless, there is no doubt in this writers mind that David will be slugging it out in Springfield during his 12th term.