U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood to host Florida Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis at Lincoln Day Dinner

DeSantis will ‘share his Florida Blueprint,’ LaHood says

FILE - Florida's Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis waves as his wife Casey applauds, following a televised debate against Democratic opponent Charlie Crist, in Fort Pierce, Fla., Oct. 24, 2022. (AP Photo/Rebecca Blackwell, File)

U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood will host Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis, who the congressman called “one of the preeminent conservative voices in our country,” as keynote speaker at a Republican dinner in Peoria next month.

DeSantis, who has been anticipated as a likely candidate to seek the GOP nomination for president next year, has drawn supporters and critics for his policies on a range of issues including COVID-19 and gay and transgender rights.

DeSantis, who last visited Illinois in February with a trip to Elmhurst, will “share his Florida Blueprint” at the joint 2023 Lincoln Day Dinner hosted by the Peoria and Tazewell County Republican Central Committees, LaHood said in a statement. DeSantis has touted his “Florida Blueprint” recently with trips to Pennsylvania, New York and Michigan and has a stop scheduled later this month in South Carolina.

U.S. Rep. Darin LaHood (R-Illinois) tours the Streator Fire Department on Tuesday, Feb. 14, 2023 in Streator.

“Governor Ron DeSantis is one of the preeminent conservative voices in our country, fighting back against the radical left,” LaHood said. “As Governor of Florida, Ron DeSantis has enabled his state to thrive because he leads with fiscal responsibility, family values, and Constitutional principles.”

LaHood’s district includes 21 counties across central and northwestern Illinois, including all or parts of McHenry, DeKalb, Ogle, Lee, La Salle and Grundy counties.

Planned for May 12, the Peoria-Tazewell Lincoln Day Dinner is one of the largest events in Illinois Republican politics.

Speakers have included Vice President Mike Pence last year, U.S. Rep. Jim Jordan, former Secretary of Energy and Texas Gov. Rick Perry, Republican National Committee National Finance Chair Todd Ricketts, and former Secretary of the Interior and Congressman Ryan Zinke, according to a news release.

The news of DeSantis’ trip to Illinois comes as Chicago, a Democratic stronghold, was announced Tuesday as the site of the 2024 Democratic National Convention.

The Associated Press contributed

Emily Coleman

Emily K. Coleman

Originally from the northwest suburbs, Emily K. Coleman is Shaw Media's editor for newsletters and engagement. She previously served as the Northwest Herald's editor and spent about seven years as a reporter with Shaw Media, first covering Dixon for Sauk Valley Media and then various communities within McHenry County from 2012 to 2016.