Illinois Federation of Republican Women is the largest all-volunteer Republican women's organization in Illinois. We are a grassroots organization organized into seven regions and 65 clubs. We are united by the Republican philosophy and are dedicated to electing Republican candidates to local, state and national office. Additionally, IFRW provides leadership training, assistance in running for office, opportunities to meet political leaders and elected officials, networking opportunities, information about local, state and national issues and involvement in campaigns and elections.
The Illinois Federation affiliated with the NFRW in 1940. According to state history, "In 1891, the women in Illinois had been granted the right to vote in school elections, and to these women that meant political action. In 1896, a group of Illinois feminists felt that the time had come for action and advertised in the newspapers for a mass meeting of women to be held in Springfield just before the regular state convention." The call stated it was for the purpose of "perfecting a women's Republican club" and selecting a woman candidate for university trustee.
In the following years, independent clubs were formed. In September 1940, Republican women from all over the state met and elected Marie Suthers the first state president. She served until 1943, the year she was elected president of the NFRW. Two other former state presidents have also served as NFRW president: Patricia Hutar (1976-77) and Mary Jo Arndt (1998-99).