Two more Republican officeholders join the LP

Kankakee County Board Representative Jim Byrne of Illinois, and Ed Zielinski, an elected councilman of Elsmere, Delaware, have joined the Libertarian Party.

Byrne announced in December that he has officially joined the Illinois LP, and now serves as vice chairman of the new Kankakee County Libertarian Party central committee that was formed last fall.

Byrne has served on the Kankakee County Board since March 2011. He won re-election in November and will serve a four-year term. He 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, said Byrne. “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.”

Byrne’s future plans on the board include consolidating and eliminating redundant taxing bodies, and downsizing the county board. 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.

Zielinksi was elected to the nonpartisan Elsmere town council seat in April 2015. He switched his party registration to the Libertarian Party in September. His seat will be up for election in April 2017.

“I had received no support for liberty legislation,” said Zielinski about switching parties. “The council has continually pushed for spending and tax increases.”

“We’re proud to have Ed join the Libertarian Party of Delaware,” said Scott Gesty, chair of LP Delaware. “Ed has always been a strong advocate of liberty and we’re honored to have him representing the people of Elsmere as a Libertarian.”

This article was originally published in LP News, Feb. 2017 issue (p. 6).

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