Marko Sukovic is a cofounder of SurusDH, LLC., an Illinois-based startup providing innovative voter engagement, automated communications, and fundraising solutions for Republican campaigns across Illinois. Surus’ ambitious goal is to turn Illinois into a red state by 2030 or sooner. Marko’s prior work includes serving as a Media Relations Intern for the NHL’s Pittsburgh Penguins, Junior Associate at Mercury Public Affairs, and Political Director for Congressman Bob Dold (R- IL10). During college, Marko helped start the conservative non-profit organization Turning Point USA and ran for state representative in his home district where he won the endorsements of the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times, which described him as the future of the Illinois Republican Party. Marko earned his B.A. in Political Science, Cum Laude, from the University of Illinois.
Linda Cardella has been a resident of Long Grove since 2001 where she and her husband Charlie have raised their 3 daughters. She has served her community as an appointed Precinct Committeewoman for Vernon 256 and assisted with Vernon 282 for 21 years. She has served as Vice Chairwoman of VTRO since 2016. She continues to grow the VTRO Facebook group to over 1,000 by keeping voters engaged and informed. Linda is also in charge of volunteer recruitment and event coordination for VTRO – tasks which showcase her passion for bringing new voters to the fold and keeping them informed and educated about the candidates and issues. Her husband Charlie has served as an elected Vernon Precinct Committeeman for 35 years including 21 years for Vernon Precinct 282.
Kathy Tegler and her husband Ron raised their two sons in Buffalo Grove and have been residents for 40 years. She and her husband joined VTRO in 2021 to learn how to help voters become educated on the issues of the community and the candidates who run in local elections. Ron Tegler is the elected Precinct Committeeman for Vernon 289.
Jay Swidler has been a resident of Buffalo Grove for over 20 years with his wife and 3 boys. As a small business owner and father, Jay found himself wanting to become more active in his local political landscape. He became aware of the dire need for Precinct Committeemen for the Republican party both nationally and locally while researching the Precinct Strategy. When he found out the seat was vacant, and with the help of VTRO, he got himself on the ballot and is now the PC for Vernon 285.
Melanie (Mel) Gurel has been a resident of Buffalo Grove for 8 years. Her journey into local politics began in earnest shortly after March 2020 when Covid lockdowns began, and it became obvious that the executive orders for masking and remote learning had no clear end in sight. After helping to organize a rally at Stevenson High School, she found a political home at VTRO. She is also a co-chair of the Awake Illinois Vernon/Ela Townships chapter and serves as an appointed Precinct Committeewoman for Vernon 288. However, her most challenging and rewarding accomplishment during the time of Covid was homeschooling her son for third grade. Helping to turn Illinois red will be a close second.
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