At Guns Save Life, we can’t endorse candidates because of our tax status. We do, however, educate the people on candidates’ positions.

In the 88th Illinois House Republican primary, gun owners have a choice between two pro-gun Republicans.  In fact, voters face a choice of two solidly pro-gun candidates who both belong to our GSL family.

For those unsure about new district maps, the 88th House District spans a big part of the heart of Illinois.

Interestingly, this particular Republican primary race mirrors a broader trend across Illinois, showcasing the divide between openly pro-gun conservatives and those preferring a low-profile approach to conservative values, especially on gun rights.

Regan Deering, endorsed by Freedom Caucus member Dan Caulkins, represents a bold conservative stance.  She’s not shy in sharing her beliefs and communicating her conservative values.

Deering, a former science teacher and small business owner, currently serves on her local school board.  She has demonstrated an unwavering and unapologetic commitment to conservatism in general and gun rights in particular.

Regan Deering’s bold stances stand in stark contrast to Establishment Republicans who, despite their pro-gun rhetoric, have at times compromised on gun rights with Democrats. Examples include support for the Red Flag law, the Protect Illinois Communities Act and other gun control legislation by GOP “leaders” like Jim Durkin.

Current Representative Dan Caulkins, leaving because he’s honoring his self-imposed term limit, likes Deering’s unapologetic conspicuous conservative beliefs so much he’s endorsed her.  She’s also picked up endorsements from the Fraternal Order of Police and the Farm Bureau among others.

Her opponent, Chuck Erickson, has faced criticism for not fully embracing conservative policies, even on gun rights.  He has been accused of focusing more on political maneuvers than substantive action.

Some years ago when Chuck was party chairman, I urged him to bravely articulate strong conservative principles on guns and to carry them out in practice.  In other words, I asked him to not only talk the talk, but walk the walk.  I wanted the McLean County Board to stand up for the Second Amendment by passing a Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution.  They had the votes to do so.

“We can’t do that,” Erickson flatly said.  “It would just energize the hard left to turn out and vote!”

To support his position, Chuck cited some minor vandalism of the McLean County Republican headquarters.  To which I raised my hand and noted how I had my tires slashed in front of my home because of my gun-rights advocacy.

In the end Chuck ignored my advice, afraid to publicly stand up for the little people (and by extension, the working people) and their right to defend themselves and to own firearms.  The Second Amendment Sanctuary Resolution went nowhere.

And as we’ve all seen so many times, when our side dithers or retreats, the other side advances. Sure enough: anti-gun Dems picked up a couple of more seats that cycle under Chuck’s less-than-bold and short-sighted leadership.  This continued the trend of gun-hating Democrats gaining McLean County Board seats while Chuck was the ideological and strategic “leader” of the (largely pro-gun) Republicans.

And now Mr. “Don’t want to energize the Left” Chuck Erickson wants to be a State Representative.

In a radio show with Cat Peterson on Cities 92.9 in early 2024, Erickson touted that he would “reach across the aisle” to work with Democrats on gun control legislation, much like his RINO endorser former State Rep Dan Brady. Because that’s always worked so well for gun owners in the past, right?

Does Chuck sincerely believe he’s going to convince rabid, gun-hating downstate Dems like Carol Ammons, Sharon Chung, or Jehan Gordon-Booth to support gun rights over gun control?  That tired old “reach across the aisle” talking point might work with voters who don’t know any better, but for those of us who do – we aren’t buying it.

This primary offers a choice: support for a candidate in Regan Deering who consistently and vocally champions the Second Amendment or support a candidate in Chuck Erickson who acts afraid to take action to promote gun rights even when he has the votes to do so.

Not all pro-gun candidates are the same. 
In another race, Darren Bailey, the unapologetic pro-gun former State Rep and State Senator is running against Congressman Mike Bost.

Darren Bailey has done his best to throw sand in the Governor’s precious gun and magazine ban law.  He boldly proclaimed that he would not register his banned guns after January 1st.

Meanwhile Mike Bost says at election time “When it comes to guns, no one’s a stronger supporter than Mike Bost.”  Then, when he gets to Washington DC, Mr. “no one’s stronger than Mike Bost” starts advocating for bump stock bans and an end to gun sales between private individuals.  Maybe “no one’s stronger on guns than Mike Bost” at a Moms Demand Action meeting, but in the real world?  Bost has never attended a GSL meeting.

Gun owners must vote.
We as gun owners need to vote.  We need to bring our right-thinking friends with us to vote as well, as if we’re all the third monkey on the ramp to Noah’s Ark…  and brother, it’s starting to rain.

For those who think voting at this point is a waste of time, they would do well to remember those who who gave so much (or even perished, making the ultimate sacrifice) fighting for freedom and liberty so we have that right to vote.

Not only that, but if you don’t vote, your voice literally doesn’t matter.  And if you do vote in a low turnout election, your influence in electing good people becomes magnified thanks to those who don’t vote.

So don’t squander an opportunity to vote for the best (or at least the better) candidates.

4 thoughts on “THE CONSPICUOUS VS. THE GRAY MAN: Two pro-gun candidates in Central Illinois primary”
  1. Never seen this Erickson guy but I’ve seen the Regan woman at DeWitt Sunday breakfast before. She impressed me in the couple of minutes we talked. If Erickson squandered the pro-gun majority on the McLean Co Board, that’s reason enough not to vote for him. With “leadership” like that, he should caucus with the Dems.

  2. The choice seems clear. Establishment vs. a real conservative.
    Was Chuck a never Trumper too? Wouldn’t surprise me. The establishment hates a real conservative.

  3. Another great candidate that is a very strong 2A supporter and Grundy County Leader that turned around a former Democrat controlled County and turned it into a Republican stronghold in his tenure.
    Chris Balkema running for Illinois State Senate of the 52nd District which covers Northern Normal and north. He also passed the Illegal Immigrant “non-sanctuary” county referendum that affirms its commitment to assist ICE and arresting illegal immigrants sent to the county.

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