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Sarah Palin Coming To Illinois: Palin To Speak Near Peoria In April

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Sarah Palin's rhetoric is still popular in some parts of the country, but whether her Illinois visit in April will help the state's Republican party remains to be seen.

According to the Chicago Sun-Times' Lynn Sweet, Palin will be in Washington, Ill. on April 17 for a speech and dinner that will raise money for a parking lot, youth scholarships and other projects. Washington is a town of about 14,000 near Peoria.

Sweet reports that the 1,000 tickets sold out in one day, and that the event is expected to raise about $235,000--minus Palin's fee "which is in the $100,000 ballpark."

"I think she has something to say," Washington Mayor Gary Manier told Sweet.

But will Palin's April appearance help the Republican ticket in Illinois? Sweet said several Republican leaders in the state think so:

...if Palin is agreeable -- and used in targeted areas -- she could be a help, especially in the governor's race, where either state Sen. Bill Brady or Sen. Kirk Dillard will face Gov. Quinn.

Pat Brady, chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, says Palin "energizes people." State Sen. Dan Rutherford (R-Pontiac), the Republican nominee for state treasurer -- Washington is in his district -- says, "I think she does invigorate a certain constituency."

Sweet predicts that Palin won't play well in Cook and DuPage counties, but "in central and southern Illinois, her stardom could get out the vote."