2017 Libertarian Party of Illinois Schedule of Events

2018 Convention Schedule of Events


Friday night event is free and open to the public to attend

  • 5pm - Registration
  • 5:30pm - Welcome Reception Begins
  • 6pm - Food and Drink Bars Open - The Taxation is Theft Band
  • 7:00pm - Chair and Convention Committee Announcements
  • 7:05pm - Candidate Speeches
  • 9:00pm - Libertarian Jeopardy!
  • Registration and socializing with our friends, new and old


    Attendance requires registration

  • 8:30am - Registration and Credentialing
  • 9:00am - Workshop: How To Petition - Krysta Walker
  • 9:45am - Workshop: Building your Chapter - Bennett Morris and John Mathey
  • 10:30am - Workshop: Media Relations/Press Releases - Steve Suess
  • 11:15am - Workshop: Get to Know Your Party - Lex Green
  • 12 Noon - Lunch with Guest Speaker Pete Guither, Author and Editor of DrugWarRant.com
  • 1:00pm - Annual Business Meeting Call to Order (State Party Members Only - Free to Attend)
  •    - Officer/Division Reports
  •    - Candidate Nominations/Elections
  •    - National Convention Delegates Elections
  •    - Resolutions and Other Business
  • 6:30pm - Convention Banquet
  • 6:45pm - Awards to be announced during the Banquet
  • 7:30pm - Keynote Speaker Nicholas Sarwark - Libertarian National Committee Chair
  • 8:30pm - Annual Live Auction

  • Featured Speakers and Guests

    Nicholas Sarwark

    Nicholas Sarwark was first elected as chair of the Libertarian National Committee in June 2014, and is serving his second term as chair after being re-elected in 2016. Born in 1979, Sarwark is an unabashed, second generation Libertarian with a strong commitment to fighting on the party's behalf against unfair ballot access obstacles and exclusion of qualified candidates from public debates. In his role as chair, Sarwark has played a prominent role in media relations, with appearances in Reason, the Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Stossel, MSNBC, Slate, Salon, the Blaze, the Los Angeles Times, and many more.

    Sarwark has been an active member of the Libertarian Party since 1999 and has served on the judicial and bylaws committees of the national party. He also served as chair of the Libertarian Party of Maryland and as vice chair of the Libertarian Party of Colorado, where he played a key role in recruiting the state's 42 Libertarian candidates in 2014 and supported the passage of Colorado's historic marijuana legalization initiative in 2012.

    Professionally, Sarwark has been a criminal defense attorney and has worked for more than 10 years in the private sector. He served as a deputy public defender in Colorado, trying more than 30 cases before a jury and arguing in front of the Colorado Supreme Court. He also has more than a decade of experience in computer consulting and sales. In 2014, he moved to Arizona to join in the operations of a family business, the oldest independent auto dealership in Phoenix, founded in 1942.

    Throughout his career, he developed a commitment to high-quality service which he now applies to raising the national Libertarian Party's standards for support of state affiliates, members and candidates. He lives in Arizona with his wife and three children.

    Pete Guither

    Pete is drug policy expert and author/editor of DrugWarRant.com - the longest running single-issue blog focused on drug policy (since 2003) and is executive director of the Prohibition Isn't Free Foundation. He is also artistic director of The Living Canvas, telling compelling stories with performers' bodies clothed with the textures of projected images. He recently retired as assistant dean of the College of Fine Arts at Illinois State University, where he taught arts management, theatre photography, computer graphic design, and entrepreneurship.

    He has worked in business and in government, on Broadway, as a Fuller Brush salesman, a film festival judge, and as a traveling lounge musician. Pete is a photographer, a piano player, a freedom fighter, a foodie, and hosts New York theatre tours for students and retirees. He has a Master of Fine Arts in performing arts management from Brooklyn College and a degree in theatre from Cornell College.

    Krysta Walker

    Krysta Walker currently serves as the Ballot Access Director for the Libertarian Party of Illinois. She likes bylaws and long walks to collect petition signatures. When she isn't working on campaigns and party business, she is working diligently to complete her Bachelor's degree in Politics and Policy in order to achieve her life's goal of becoming a constitutional lawyer and burning the state to the ground. She lives in St Louis with her husband and three children.

    Bennett Morris

    Bennett Morris is Chair of the McLean County Libertarian Party and the Finance Director for the Libertarian Party of Illinois. He is also a member of the Libertarian Party Platform Committee and has announced that he is running for State Chair. In his non-political life, Bennett is a digital marketing professional at a Fortune 50 company and has earned an MBA from Illinois State University.

    John Mathey

    John Mathey is the Chair and a co-founder of the Libertarian Party of DeKalb County Illinois. Mathey organized events for 2016 libertarian candidates Claire Ball and Kent McMillan in DeKalb, Lee and Ogle counties. In 2018 Mathey plans to run for State Representative in Illinois' 70th district.

    Steve Suess

    Steve Suess is the Communications Division Director for the Libertarian Party of Illinois. Suess has experience in both commercial and non-commercial radio, as well as in public relations and media education. Suess currently manages 103.3 WZND Fuzed Radio in Normal, Illinois and has previously worked for WJBC in Bloomington, WGLT in Normal, and WRDL in Ashland, Ohio. His work in broadcasting has been recognized by the Illinois Broadcaster's Association, Illinois News Broadcaster's Association, the Broadcast Education Association, and the Society of Professional Journalists.

    Suess is an active member of the McLean County Libertarian Party and serves as a precinct committeeman in Blooomington. He is currently running for McLean County Board as a Libertarian, and previously ran for office in Normal Township with the party.

    Justin Tirone and Luke Dennis/Taxation is Theft Band

    "Taxation Is Theft is comprised of singer/professional dancer Luke Dennis and archeologist/multi-instrumentalist Justin Tirone. Luke and Justin grew up in the folk ghettos of northern southeastern IL where they had to resort to alpaca grooming in order to survive. Their distrust of big government is rivalled only by their love of music and Doritos® flavored ice cream novelties."

    Brian Lambrecht and Jeni Floyd/Jeopardy

    Brian Lambrecht has worn many hats in the Libertarian Party of Illinois over the years, though they all seem to look like the same dusty black gambler he always wears. Hosting Libertarian Jeopardy every year at the convention is both the most time consuming in preparation and most rewarding in its delivery. The reaction from the crowd makes it worth it, every time.

    Jennifer Floyd has her fingerprints all over the state party, involving herself in multiple projects from behind the scenes and in the cloak of darkness. From the convention program, to candidate memes, artwork for chapters, and video production on how to petition, you've probably seen her handiwork multiple times over the years. Her skills are of exceptional quality and robust passion.

    Back again in its' current form for a fifth year, Libertarian Jeopardy is utterly crude, exceptionally vulgar, and delightfully entertaining. You might even learn something. Test your knowledge in categories as wide ranging as foreign policy, economics, and the Founding Fathers. The game is designed to be both hilarious and clever, and it never fails to deliver on both accounts.

    Travel and Lodging

    Information for booking your room at the Hotel or traveling to Bloomington is available Here.