During the two day event, speakers will discuss health care, taxes and ethical government.
A number of GOP candidates gathered on Friday. They talked about why they're running and the challenges facing the state.
"Just you look at the job record for the last decade. For every one job we've added we've chased away 1.2. Where is the future for the young people in our county and in our state when we are losing jobs?" said Roger Keats, (R) candidate for Cook County Board president.
The convention continues through Saturday at the Stephens Convention Center. It's open to the public.