MCLEAN COUNTY, Ill. (WMBD) — McLean County Republican Central Committee chairman Connie Beard announced Tuesday that she will be stepping down from the role she’s held for five years, effective immediately.

Dennis Grundler, who was elected Vice Chairman in July 2022, will step in to assume the chair and take leadership of the party.

“As we have lowered the average age of our GOP board considerably with our last convention, I am pleased and confident that Dennis will be able to lead our party with fresh ideas and vigor,” wrote Beard in a statement. “The fight for our founding principles must carry on and I pray the younger generations will pick up the torch and lead. Our family is staying in Illinois so I will continue to work for a better McLean County. This community is worth the sacrifice.”

Beard says she plans to take a few months away before returning to helping behind the scenes in a new role as Chairman Emeritus. 

According to the statement from the McClean County Republican Party sent Tuesday, Grundler will immediately step in to work with the other county chairmen from State Senate District 53 to find a replacement for State Sen. Jason Barickman (R-Bloomington) who recently announced his resignation, as well as filling the seat being vacated by State Representative Keith Sommer (R-Morton) of the 88th District.

Learn more about any updates within the McLean County GOP as well as all upcoming events at the party’s website.