From a press release issued by the Illinois Libertarian Party on December 7:
Kankakee County Board Representative Jim Byrne, R-Bradley, announced today he has officially joined the Libertarian Party of Illinois. Byrne will serve as the Vice-Chairman of the new Kankakee County Libertarian Party central committee that was formed and recognized by the Libertarian Party of Illinois earlier this fall.
Byrne has served on the Kankakee County Board since March 2011. He won re-election last month and will serve a four-year term. During his tenure on the board, Byrne has served as Vice-Chairman, Vice-Chair of the Public Safety Committee, Vice-Chair of the Highway and Bridge Committee, Building and Grounds Committee and Community Service Committee. Byrne will remain as an elected Republican official.
“I have joined the Libertarian Party of Illinois, not because POTUS-Elect Trump was just elected or what Gov. Rauner is doing in Springfield. I joined the Libertarian Party because as I said to the Daily Journal on my first day on the board back in 2011, I am a Ron Paul Republican, a Libertarian who believes in small government that is accountable and transparent to the people,” said Byrne.
Byrne intends to fight for Libertarian causes while in office. His future plans on the board include consolidating and eliminating redundant taxing bodies and downsizing the board, itself. Byrne said a smaller board would give a larger voice to citizens in unincorporated areas of the county. He also wants to work toward offering Kankakee County citizens greater government transparency by video streaming meetings online and putting the meetings on public-access television.
Working across the aisle is not a foreign concept to Byrne. He has a track record of working with both Republicans and Democrats on the board. Byrne said he hopes that can continue.
“I will continue to work with all on turning Kankakee County around, no matter if there is a R, D, L, or I next to your name. It’s about putting county before party. Sadly some don’t see it that way, and I hope to be a voice of change in that culture that I feel has hampered Kankakee County for years.”