Gingrich to headline sheriff candidate's fundraiser

WOODSTOCK – Former House Speaker Newt Gingrich will headline a fundraiser next month for McHenry County sheriff hopeful Bill Prim.

The former presidential candidate and his wife, Callista, are scheduled to appear at the event Feb. 18 at the Bull Valley Country Club, 1311 Club Road, Woodstock.  

Gingrich will give a short speech on national issues.

The fundraiser comes more than a year before the March 2014 Republican primary election.

Organizers said the event will cost $500 a ticket and will be invitation only. Huntley resident Matt McNamara is involved in Prim’s campaign and handled security for Gingrich during last year’s GOP presidential primary.

“I can’t be the only one who looks forward to hearing his perspectives,” Prim said in a news release. “I’ve always admired [Newt Gingrich’s] principled stance on the issues, and more than one of them could be adapted to our own county.”

The event is being hosted by Gary Rabine, Tom Merryman, Brian Kelly and McHenry County State’s Attorney Lou Bianchi.

Prim, who spent 27 years with the Des Plaines Police Department and lives in Cary, is one of three McHenry County sheriff candidates running in the March 2014 Republican primary.

He previously said his priority would be to “professionalize” the sheriff’s office and restore or enhance the relationship it has with other offices and agencies throughout the region.

Other candidates in the race are Jim Harrison and McHenry County Undersheriff Andrew Zinke.

McHenry County Sheriff Keith Nygren, who is not seeking re-election, has voiced support for Zinke, while Bianchi has been seen at other events hosted by Prim.

Nygren endorsed Bianchi’s opponent in the 2008 primary election.

Harrison has a Woodstock-based law practice and was a deputy for eight years.

Harrison worked for the sheriff’s office as a deputy from 1981 to 1989 before being admitted to the Illinois bar in 1991. As a private attorney, Harrison specializes in employment law and represented the sheriff’s office in the late 1990s and early 2000s under former McHenry County State’s Attorney Gary Pack.

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