NEW TRIER TOWNSHIP – Illinois Republican Party leadership and the party's direction will be affected in this year's March 20th primary of committeemen and chairmen throughout the state.
New Trier Township – Governor Rauner's Republican Party home – is particularly gaining attention after recently-appointed committeeman Kathy Myalls told a meeting of New Trier GOP voters Saturday morning that her GOP challenger attorney Alex Kaplan refused to debate her.
Kaplan immediately responded with a press release saying, "Kaplan to Myalls: Want a debate? Bring it on."
The NTRO is within GOP State Central Committeeman Blair Garber's 9th CD, and he supports Myalls for the position. He told Illinois Review Monday that as the previous committeeman Danielle Mergner decided to resign, she discussed potential successors with him.
"Kathy’s bonafides as a former candidate in New Trier for both state and township office are so strong she really didn’t need any help from me," Garber said. "It’s really up to the Republicans of New Trier to choose their committeeman."
Garber said Myalls "was outstanding both times" she ran for office. Myalls also has a very long history of involvement with New Trier Township Republican politics.
Kaplan, who opposes Myalls in the race, released a letter he sent to her disputing her claim that he was unwilling to debate:
Dear Ms. Myalls,
It was brought to my attention that during this morning's joint NTRO and Northfield GOP "Meet and Greet" breakfast at Hackney's on Lake in Glenview, you indicated that I refused to debate you. (Mind you, today's event was an event to which I was not invited, despite being a candidate for New Trier Township Republican Committeeman).
We never received such a challenge via U.S. Mail, FedEx, e-mail, social media post, phone call, text message, instant message, fax, telegram, skywritten message, ham radio transmission, carrier pigeon, bottle found at sea, smoke signals, or any other form of communication, so if I missed your challenge, then I ask that you resend it.
However, I NEVER refused a challenge to debate you.
I very much welcome a debate, as I believe that the residents of New Trier deserve to hear our respective views, meet us, and ask questions on how best to advance the Republican Party in the area.
I will debate you ANYWHERE, and at ANY TIME.
To get things started, why don't we do a debate at a location in the middle of the township such as New Trier High School on Feb. 27 (subject to availability of the venue).
We encourage you, or your staff, to reach out to me at: firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss a convenient time and location; we are amenable to accommodating your schedule.
New Trier Township includes the northern suburban villages of Winnetka, Wilmette, Glenview, Glencoe, Kenilworth and Northfield.