Illinois State Senator Mark Kirk has spoken out publically denouncing his party’s presumptive nominee; and our own Republican mayor is in agreement, having stated he is not a Trump supporter and does not plan to vote for him in the election.
Worries about Trump’s leadership abilities seem to be a common concern for many area Republicans.
“Our township organization hasn’t officially endorsed Donald Trump, he’s earned the nomination and it’s on him now to unite the party. I’m personally struggling with supporting him, I think he needs to be presidential in tone and leadership and needs to be somebody that I respect and that young people can look up to like I did with Ronald Reagan,” said Michele Hilger, Member of the Naperville Township Republican Organization.
Others in Naperville are welcoming his new approach to politics.
“I think America needs a fresh person, a person that hasn’t been so intrenched into the political process who will surround himself with great people, great advisors and do what’s right for the people and what the people want. We’ve been missing that,” said Pat Fee, Leadership Chair for the National Federation of Republican Women.
But some feel he’s missed the chance to unite the party, instead becoming a divisive figure who’s sent some away from their ranks.
“I was a republican until this election. He’s the reason why I’m not republican for the first time in probably 15 years. I feel like he’s dividing the county and has extreme racism that’s terrifying and I don’t think that’s the direction the Republican Party used to be in. Being conservative used to be being conservative and not spending money and now it’s taking a stand for racism and hate and I can’t support that, and Trump is the reason for that,” said Jackie Lenz, a local republican.
But many we talked to are still on the fence, waiting to see whether trump’s rhetoric changes as the election approaches.
“I like his attitude and what he believes he can bring into the country, but a lot of times i don’t like what he’s saying about the other party,” said Ken Nesty, another local republican.
“I think there’s a lot that needs to be still learned and unpacked between now and actually the election day, so the convention will be interesting to watch, how he picks as a running mate will be a big factor and what eventual positions they take on the various platforms,” said Sam Cole, a local republican.
Naperville News 17’s Alyssa Bochenek reports.
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