URBANA -- Kyle Harrison, who was unopposed, was elected the new chairman of the Champaign County Republican Party Wednesday.
Harrison, a 38-year-old Champaign real estate broker, replaces Habeeb Habeeb, who is stepping down after two years as party chair.
"Jason Barickman, Senator Barickman, did a fantastic job (as chairman) and Habeeb took the torch and moved it forward, so I've got some big shoes to fill," said Harrison.
He said top priorities this year will be electing Kristin Williamson as state representative in the 103rd House District and Tom Grey and Dan Jackson to the Champaign County Board.
"It's really important for us to keep our eye on these races because they can really change the dynamics, not only of this community but of the state," Harrison said.
Also elected to top positions in the local party were Brian Kelly, vice chairman; Ross Richards, treasurer; and Charlotte Miles, secretary. All are from Champaign.
Precinct committeemen also voted for Jerry Clarke of Urbana to be the 13th Congressional District state central committeeman. All but two of the committeemen voting, Todd Hunter of Champaign and Luke Saathoff of Bondville, backed Clarke.
The former aide to U.S. Rep. Tim Johnson is opposed by Fred Floreth of Sangamon County for the party position. Voting was taking place Wednesday night at party conventions in all 14 counties in the 13th District.
The committeemen unanimously supported Bob Winchester of Rosiclare for the 15th Congressional District state central committeeman. He is opposed by Samuel Stratemeyer of Metropolis.
The party also announced that its annual Lincoln Day Dinner will be May 10 at the Hilton Garden Inn in Champaign. The keynote speaker will be Bruce Rauner, the GOP nominee for governor.