Hey, Conservative Guy. Tired of striking out with all the Obama Girls in this town? Tired of going on match.com, only to find that every lady in the 60657 zip code lists her politics as “Liberal”?
Tonight may be your night to get lucky with a woman who not only looks like Sarah Palin, but also owns an autographed copy of Going Rogue. The Chicago Young Republicans are holding their monthly happy hour from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. at Ontourage, 157 W. Ontario St.
The Young Republicans’ strongholds are Lake View and Lincoln Park, the party neighborhoods where thousands of young professionals move after they’ve run out their four years of eligibility at a Big Ten college, but want to keep partying before retiring to suburban domesticity. Rose, 24, came to Chicago from Carol Stream to attend UIC.
“Chicago’s the Ellis Island of Republican politics,” Rose said. “Port of entry, move to Chicago. If we get somebody right after school, they’ll live here for 10 years. I’ll take 10 years over not being involved at all.”
The Republicans are even running a candidate against Lakefront State Rep. Sara Feigenholtz: Dave Lenkowski.
Lenkowski is a 28-year-old who teaches high school in Barrington and lives in Old Town. Lenkowski’s not going to win, but he’ll remind Chicagoans that the Democrats are not the only party in town.
“In the last election, we got 17 percent of the vote in Chicago,” Rose said. “If we get 22 percent, Bill Brady and Mark Kirk win.”
Fishing for votes on the Lakefront is smart politics for Republicans. George Ryan won the area in his 1998 race for governor against Glenn Poshard, who offended liberal voters with his opposition to abortion and gay rights. In the 2006 Cook County Board President election, Tony Peraica beat Todd Stroger there.
To announce their existence, the Young Republicans have taken out ads on the CTA, announcing, “It’s not easy being right in Chicago.” Besides their mixers, they have a team running in this Saturday’s Race to Wrigley 5K, and a group marching in the May 1 Polish Constitution Day Parade. Even if you can’t swing an election, you may still be able to swing.
“We like to call fellow Republicans in the city ‘fellow travelers,’” Rose said. “To a lot of people, [politics] matters. You want to be able to have conversations with people you’re not going to be screaming at over dinner.”