The Illinois Conservatives are proud to announce an in-depth, three-day feature: ‘30 under 30,’ in which we will highlight 30 exciting conservatives under the age of 30. Illinois Conservatives’ Members nominated the young conservatives on this list, while President of the Illinois Conservatives Zach Oltmanns and Speaker of the Illinois Conservatives Joe Kaiser wrote the biographies on each member. The biographies were also created with the help of a questionnaire that every young conservative on the list answered. This ’30 under 30’ list will come out in three segments of 10 names. Thank you for taking time to read each biography.
Melissa Denker– is a 19-year-old student living in the 14th Congressional District. Originally from Belgrade, Serbia, Melissa now lives in Harvard, IL where she was recently elected Precinct Committeeman Chairwoman of Dunham Township. She has been involved in several campaigns locally and nationally. Her future goals include getting more young people to care about voting and to educate them on the issues. She is also hoping to become a senator and show Washington what it means to follow the constitution.
Meghan Gray– is a 22-year-old senior at Columbia College in Chicago majoring in journalism and public relations. A native ofBeach Park in the 10th Congressional District, she just recentlyended her internship with the Leadership Institute in Washington, D.C. She is also a member of the Lake County Young Republicans and will be joining the Dold for Congress staff within weeks. In the future she hopes to work in the nonprofit sector and to start her own planning or consulting firm.
Demetri Broches– is a 25-year-old Legal Assistant from Sycamore in the 14th Congressional District, though in the past he has volunteered on campaigns in Virginia and Pennsylvania. Demetri was also a coordinator for Adam Andrejewski’s Gubernatorial Campaign and a coordinator for Don Manzullo for Congress. He currently serves as a Tea Party activist and a DeKalb County Republican Precinct Committeeman. His future goal is to recruit more members to the Tea Party and to reform the Illinois GOP into a legitimate, more conservative political party.
John Sweeney– is a 28-year-old Winnebago County Board Member, currently residing in Rockford in the 16th CongressionalDistrict with his wife and young son. At age 25, he was elected Republican Caucus Chairman on the Winnebago County Board, which has 20 of 28 board seats controlled by the GOP. He is unsure of what his future will hold for him inpolitics.
Collin Corbett-is a 26-year-old small business owner from Palatine, now in the 6th Congressional District. Collin is currently a precinct captain and the President of the Palatine Township Republican Organization. He was also the founder of the Lake County Young Republicans and has worked on several conservative campaigns throughout thestate. His future goal is to turn Illinois red, which has him committed to staying in Illinois until that mission is complete.
Shannon Coughlin-is a 27-year-old writer and producer for McDonalds Corporation from Darien, IL in the 13th Congressional District. Her current role in politics is being a freelance communications specialist. She also is a recruiter, volunteer, and supporter of the DuPageCounty Young Republicans. In the future Shannon hopes to execute new communication strategies for the Republican Party in Illinois. While she does not have a current desire to run for office, she wants to help craft the message for people that do. She hopes to continue to recruit knowledgeable and humble people to step up for the Republican Party that she hopes will instill the image of what a true conservative looks like.
Joshua Colson– is a 16-year-old student at Johnston City High School from Johnston City in the 12th Congressional District. He is the current Chairmen of the Southern Illinois Teenage Republicans. He is unsure if he will ever run for office but is determined to help the most conservative candidates get elected to office.
Rob Abraham-is a 29-year-old private technology consultant living in Lake of the Hills in the 16th Congressional District with his wife of two years. Rob was recently elected Precinct Committeeman of Algonquin Township 57. Rob is also a Navy veteran who joined the military on 9/11/01. He hopes to one day be a congressman in which he would serve on a defense committee and would like today’s politicians to never lose sight of their job, serve the people that elected them.
Patrick Kelly-is a 19-year-old student at Elmhurst College where he majors in Political Science and History with a minor in Urban Studies. His hometown is Palos Park in the 3rd Congressional District. In 2008, he volunteered for the McCain/Palin campaign while during the 2010 cycle he served as a co-campaign manager on a state representativecampaign. This year he hopes to help phone bank for the Republican presidential nominee in Indiana. His interests include foreign affairs, specifically Africa and the Middle Eas,t as well as journalism. In the near future he hopes to run for local office and, in the long term, a state seat.
Kyle McCollum-is a 25-year-old, first year law student at Southern Illinois University School of Law. Kyle currently lives in Frankfort in the 12th Congressional District. Recently, he served on a team that hosted an event for former Presidential candidate Rick Santorum in Herrin, IL and this upcoming summer he will serve as a Legislative Intern for Congressman Tim Johnson (R-13). After he returns from his internship he hopes to become very active in campaigns leading up to the November election. In the future he hopes to be involved in government affairs for a business or a non-profit company, while long term he would like to run for elected office.