CHAMPAIGN — Indiana Gov. Mitch Daniels will be the headline speaker for the Champaign County Republican Party's Lincoln Day Dinner on April 19.
Tickets, which will be $90 apiece, will go on sale to the public on Feb. 23 at the party's website .
The event will begin with a special VIP reception for sponsors and premium ticket holders at 6 p.m. at the Hilton Garden Conference Center in Champaign, followed by the dinner at 7 p.m.
Daniels also is scheduled to give the Republican Party's response Tuesday night to President Obama's State of the Union address.
"I love the guy. I've heard him speak before and I think he's terrific," said Habeeb Habeeb, the local party treasurer who said he helped persuade Daniels to come to Champaign County. "He's not pompous. He's just a regular guy."
Habeeb also likely will deliver the "State of the Republican Party in Champaign County" address at the April 19 dinner.
So far he is the only announced candidate to be the new party chairman, a process that will culminate the night before with the election of new party officers.
The event is expected to draw an estimated 800 people from Champaign and throughout Illinois.
"This is a rare opportunity to hear a very talented, down-to-earth governor talk about the principles that helped him fix Indiana's fiscal and economic woes in a very short time, and is exactly what Illinois politicians need to hear," Habeeb said.
Daniels is serving his second term as governor of Indiana. In his first year, he led the state to its first balanced budget in eight years and, without a tax increase, transformed the nearly $700 million deficit he inherited into an annual surplus of $370 million. He previously served as Director of the Office of Management and Budget under President George W. Bush.
Daniels recently wrote the book "Keeping the Republic: Saving America by Trusting Americans."