Home Illinois News New Trier Township GOP Committeeman race heats up over debate challenge

New Trier Township GOP Committeeman race heats up over debate challenge

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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: friendsofalexkaplan@gmail.com 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.

9 COMMENTS

  1. Kaplan wanted to be a judge and came around with petitions. He was all smiles when he thought we ere in the 12th district, and after telling him politely we weren’t he stomped off without even saying “Thanks anyway,” or “Tell your friends.”
    I’ve seen many of these same types…arrogant, snooty, supercilious and ego-driven.
    GO, KATHY!

  2. I worked with the New Trier Twp. GOP, when they were the conservative mainstay of the Northern suburbs, under Committeeman, Dave Brown.
    Now it is rather sad.
    They had a succession of RINO committeemen, were the Township who gave us Mark Kirk – and now are the 2nd class party there, with the Democrats prominent.
    So sad!

  3. For at least the past five years, I’ve thought that the legislature should pass a bill that would allow Cook Co. primary voters to vote for precinct committeemen, like the voters of Illinois’ other 101 counties. Some famous politicians, who agree with me, are State Rep. David Harris, State Rep. David McSweeney, 11th Ward Committeemen Carl Segvich, and former Barrington Township Committeeman Gene Dawson. If the legislature passed the bill that I suggested, New Trier Township wouldn’t have a township committeeman who was appointed by Cook Co. Republican Chairman Morrison. The elected precinct committeemen would have elected their township party chairman.

  4. 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.”
    What makes the above confusing is that Rauner is afraid to debate Jeanne Ives. Rauner is weak. Yet with Madigan, and Cullerton voted he voted to kill unborn babies.

  5. The “precinct committeemen” proposal is completely unworkable in Chicago. Precinct committeemen are suited to rural areas not urban areas.
    As for New Trier Township, the primary voters will have the opportunity to elect the township committeeman in March. The chairman only gets to make appointments to vacancies between election cycles. The key thing is to get someone committed to serving a full term. The last two appointees (before Myalls) both bailed after less than a year and a half.

  6. Springfield, Rockford, Bloomington, and Peoria aren’t rural. Do you think that they shouldn’t have precinct committeemen?
    I already knew all of the information in your second paragraph. I think that all adults, who have lived in the Chicago area, knew that.

  7. When the Republican party struggles to find genuine Republicans to serve as election precinct judges, you are asking for precinct committeemen candidates and elections in Cook County?
    The Chicago Board of Elections and the Office of the Cook County Clerk would have to accept nominating petitions and conduct electoral board hearings for an eternity for various wards.
    Cook County has functioned without precinct committeemen (by statute) for more than a century. It is high time that you accepted that fact.

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