The MIG Journal: Meet Your 2020 Executive Board

Saturday night was highlighted by MIG’s Candidates Forum, as MIG’s future officers offered their platforms for next year. In the end, nine students from around the state emerged victorious, with the Governor’s election coming down to a wild tied finish.

View all of the final vote totals below and meet your 2020 Model Illinois Government E-Board Members!

Sunday, March 3 - FINAL EDITION

Photos by Kyle Bergfors

GOVERNOR Sabrina LeBlanc, Millikin (Governor-Elect) - 54 (40%)* Mackenzi Matthews, LLCC - 54 (40%) Trudy Leong, NEIU - 24 (18%)

GOVERNOR Sabrina LeBlanc, Millikin (Governor-Elect) – 54 (40%)* Mackenzi Matthews, LLCC – 54 (40%) Trudy Leong, NEIU – 24 (18%)

SABRINA LEBLANC By Kyle Bergfors & Tim Kirsininkas

Sabrina LaBlanc, a 4th year delegate from Millikin University, ran on the platform of major recruitment of new schools in order to both bring in new faces and increase already participating college’s delegate counts. For example, she emphasized how during her first year consisted of 24 schools, but has since gone down to currently 17. In addition, she wants to split up the state into multiple parts with officers to focus on schools in each area while uniting Moot Court and focus on marketing MIG as a whole. Her four years of experience as a Lobbyist in MIG will help her to bring a unique perspective and focus to the alternative roles of MIG, which annually see much less interest from student delegates. We can expect that to change under Sabrina’s leadership. Sabrina’s election will make 2020 the third year in a row that MIG will be led by a female Governor. Shakana Kirksey-Miller, who won her election in 2017, was the first woman the organization chose to be its Governor in 17 years. The welcome change reflects a shifting dynamic of women in politics as more women step up to answer the call to lead.

LT. GOVERNOR Layla Werner, NIU (Lt. Governor-Elect) - 97 (73%) Preshus Maxson, PSC - 35 (26%)

LAYLA WERNER By John Rayburn

Layla thinks highly of the position of Lieutenant Governor and feels that it’s very important due to the role’s focus on recruitment and retention of schools. She credited the past two Lt. Governors, Sabrina LeBlanc and Tim Kirsininkas for their work, and promised to build upon their efforts by improving the prep kit to make it more of a marketing tool for the organization. In order to better help first-year delegates, she plans to create a pamphlet and also some sort of map to navigate around the State Capital and Old State Capitol. She also plans to coordinate with the Lobbyists to get them more active and to visit with member colleges to make sure that people who are attending MIG are comfortable with debate procedure and know their way around the simulation before they attend.

ATTORNEY GENERAL Paige Leonard, NIU (Attorney General-Elect) - 63 (48%) Abisoye Ariwoola, UIS - 52 (39%) Tashara Royster, WIU - 16 (12%)

PAIGE LEONARD By Janessa Peinado

Prior to MIG, Paige was shy and did not like to speak her mind too much, but has credidted her experience in the organization with her immense personal growth. Through MIG she has been able to break out of that shell and find her voice. She now has a total of four years experience in MIG and looks to take on a larger role. Paige served as Attorney General Tim Kirsininkas’ Chief of Staff. While she has shadowed Tim over the weekend, she learned all of the details of the AG position. Together, she was been able to see both the legal aspect and what all goes in to the position.

When asked what she would change if elected Paige replied with “More OLs. I want to more heavily encourage the writings of OLs. I plan to change the handbook for OL’s and make it easier for them to be submitted.” She wants to improve the process of MIG OLs formal formatting and numbers for making the organization a bit clearer for all delegates.

She was also asked what she would do to make the simulation’s Journal better. Her response was by “Bringing in more journalism majors, run it, and run it professionally. The goal for the next year would also be to run one new and informative journal article every month leading up to MIG.”

SECRETARY OF STATE Ismael Cordova, Elgin Community College (SoS-Elect) - 77 (60%) Ruqayat Adebesin, PSC - 50 (39%)

ISMAEL CORDOVA By Tim Kirsininkas

2019 was Ismael’s first year attending Model Illinois Government, but that didn’t stop him from taking the challenge head-on. This year, he served as ECC’s Head Delegate as he led a talented group of nine first-year students. His platform touched on much of his leadership on campus back in Elgin, where he has helped lead numerous clubs and served as Student Body President. Moving forward, he plans to work with the Executive Board to explore ways to increase MIG’s flatlined voter turnout, as well as ways to tighten up the organization’s election rules to prevent misinterpretations. He will be Elgin Community College’s first-ever representative on the MIG Eboard since they joined MIG in 2015.

TREASURER Katherine Lara, PSC (Treasurer-Elect) - 126 (100%)

KATHERINE LARA By Tim Kirsininkas

Katherine was another shining example of this year’s outstanding group of first-years who stepped up to answer the call to lead. As Treasurer, Kat will be in charge of leading MIG’s Office of Management and Budget, an aspect of MIG that did not exist this year due to only one delegate signing up. If Kathy’s commitment and dedication are any indication, recruiting students to participate in this important aspect of the simulation shouldn’t be an issue at all for her.

COMPTROLLER Stephon Robertson, PSC (Comptroller-Elect) - 126 (100%)


Stephon Robertson from Prairie State College ran unopposed for the position of Comptroller. Robertson promises to ensure that funds will be spent correctly and in an efficient manner. As for the social aspect of the position, he sees improvement in the way the Campaign Mixer was presented. To him it did not appear to be anything besides potential executive board members advocating their case and it could have been more enjoyable. In addition to working closely with the other board members, Robertson looks forward to implementing creativity with his experience with his own clothing line and making music to then generate a new spin on the role of Comptroller.

PRESIDENT OF THE SENATE Isaiah Moore, GSU (President-Elect) - 72 (56%) Bryce Thomas, UIS - 55 (43%)


Isaiah Moore is a third-year delegate from Governor’s State. He elaborates on his skills being passionate about being parli-pro savvy, formulating important relationships, and debating – even for a party that does not coincide with his own. He understands the importance of communication inside and outside of the chamber. Legislation is something he holds near and dear to him, and this organization has “become [his] heart and soul”. His qualifications include debating as both a Republican being a Democrat and expanding his debate skills to transfer to both parties. This current simulation is his first year participating as a spokesperson for the Senate in the third committee. He has run for an executive board position every year for the past three years and this year he expresses being the most confident in his abilities because of how much he senses he has grown as a delegate. His goals can be simplified by two words: relationships and experience.

SPEAKER OF THE HOUSE Kallie Matthews, LLCC (Speaker-Elect) - 71 (53%) Joseph Partain, UIS - 48 (36%) Adil Erradi, NIU - 13 (9%)

KALLIE MATTHEWS By Cory Kirsininkas

During Matthew’s time here at MIG, she purposefully ran as a Republican because she is a Democrat and wanted to know what to know what it would feel like to debate the opposition. She feels that it is important to understand both sides of the committees, and after this experience, discovered it is possible to have respectful debate regardless of which side you are on. She believes she will do a good job at keeping up decorum because no matter which party you debate for, it is possible to have thoughtful and fun discussions. After having experience with seeing how both sides work, she believes that this will help her decide on which bill to choose for House discussion. She states, “What republicans want to see, what democrats want to see, what brings good discussion”. When asked about any experience she has with leadership, Matthews indicates that she helped her community college with leadership in a group that represents opposing views on a subject with her message being: “just because someone is not like you, it doesn’t mean they’re wrong”. When asked about upkeeping consistent communication within the House, she will do everything to be able to setup communication through email or text to ensure that there are no problems. Kallie will be the fourth consecutive female Speaker of the House for MIG, proving that a woman’s place truly is in the House and Senate.

CHIEF JUSTICE Paola Ascenscio, NIU (Chief Justice-Elect) - 104 (79%) Lucas Chatterton, Millikin - 27 (20%)


Ascencio started off her campaign speech by sharing a quote that was personal to her. The quote is by Martin Luther King Jr. and goes, “Injustice anywhere is a threat to justice everywhere.” This is not only a quote that I personally subscribe to, but hope my constituents do as well. As freedom for all cannot exist without freedom for each and every of the individual one. True to the paralegal she is, Ascencio promised to uphold the Supreme Court by honoring its decision process that creates equal justice. She promises to connect on a personal level, oversee the actions of the Supreme Court, and more importantly, stop at nothing. Ascenio’s slogan matched her fiery passion as a paralegal who works with attorneys and justices daily, as well as her passion of practice of law and government. She ended her campaign by passionately stating, “Anything is possible and opportunity is everywhere.” When asked what changes she’s hopes to see in Moot Court, the candidate answered, “more structure…addressing the issue of a timely fact pattern…and time for everyone to prepare accordingly.” Paula Ascencio is no doubt a qualified candidate who will do a great job as MIG’s Chief Justice.