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HomeIllinois NewsChicago GOP endorses Paul Vallas for mayor

Chicago GOP endorses Paul Vallas for mayor

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Screen Shot 2019-02-18 at 9.14.12 AMCHICAGO — Republicans are divided between two major candidates in the upcoming non-partisan Chicago mayoral race.

Sunday afternoon, the Chicago Republican organization voted to endorse Paul Vallas for mayor. Last week the Chicago Young Republicans and Northwest Chicago GOP supported Willie Wilson, as does Cook County GOP Chairman and Board Commissioner Sean Morrison.

According to a statement issued by the Chicago Republicans, Paul Vallas was supported by 16 committeemen,
Willie Wilson by nine committeemen, Garry McCarthy by two, Jerry Joyce by one. Three committeemen declined to endorse.

Committeemen voting for Vallas cited his strong knowledge of city government, personal honesty, willingness to take on corruption, and ability to tackle difficult budget problems.

Committeemen voting for Wilson cited his compelling personal story, success in business, outsider status, and ability to appeal to a broad swath of the city.

Republicans currently get approximately 20% of the vote in the City of Chicago in any competitive statewide race. The Republican vote in a Chicago municipal election is untested, the group says, because it has been decades since a strong Republican candidate has run for mayor. This year, however, Republicans are likely to have a significant impact, the group says, because there are 14 candidates in the race, with no single candidate polling over 15%. Top candidates are separated by only a few points. Republican voters could single-handedly get a candidate into the runoff.

"Candidates for mayor need to listen to us," said Chris Cleveland, chairman of the Chicago GOP. "In any election in which there are multiple competitive Democrats, we decide which one wins."

"If you think of us as a political party, we're not a very strong one," Cleveland said. "But if you think of us as an interest group, we're an 800 pound gorilla. Name another interest group that gets 20% of the vote. No one else comes close."

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16 COMMENTS

  1. Let me clarify: this wasn’t a formal endorsement by the Chicago GOP. We have a threshold of 70% of the entire committee for an endorsement, and no candidate reached that level. So we just announced how the vote went. Both Vallas and Wilson gathered significant support.

  2. I’ve been seeing different Cook County groups, and now the Chicago GOP, weigh in on the mayoral race. I understand the feeling that one must have an opinion, but to endorse, or in this case to have an endorsement vote, seems empty and counter-productive to me. How about as an alternative, state what policies and initiatives we want to see from the next Chicago mayor, and then while saying that while we do not endorse any candidate, this is a checklist showing the voters where the candidates stand on the issues Republicans advocate. You will avoid a possible party rift over publicly supporting a candidate that Republicans would never support under different circumstances, and you get the message out of what Republicans in Cook County and Chicago stand for. Just an opinion.

  3. Is Lee Roupas back in charge? Vallas ran as a Democrat for Governor and Lieutenant Governor. Willie Wilson is the GOP choice. A coalition of conservatives and African-Americans will get him into the runoff. NO MORE TAXES!

  4. Willie Wilson ran unsuccessfully for US President in the 2016 Democratic primaries. He received 3,557 votes in the entire City of Chicago in the Illinois primary (about one half of one percent of the 708,125 Chicago ballots cast for the presidential nomination).
    The Chicago mayoral election has been nonpartisan since 1999. You must have been sleeping like Rip Van Winkle not to have noticed.

  5. I was the only Committeeman who voted for NOBODY.
    When you vote for a candidate, you are only encouraging them.
    It is far far too bad that we are an infiltrated and pathetic republican party here in Chicago.
    Let the record be clear.
    My heart and my sympathy goes out to the hundreds of thousands of Conservative American Citizens, living by the rules, dying in Chicago (also Cook County/Illinois/USA) !
    – Carl Segvich, 11th Ward Republican Party, Committeeman – Chicago

  6. I spoke to Vallas a couple weeks ago about the pension. He has no plan.
    I’m disappointed the Chicago Reoublicans endorses him. I discussed with Chris Cleveland about having a republican candidate but he said no can do. That might had been a better idea to get the messsge out of less taxes.
    I wish the Chicago Republican committeemen would do something like even having meeting. I’ll attebd
    Republicans endorsing democrats is not a good direction.
    I’ve attended a number of the mayoral forums and met all 14 candidates..I will say none are qualified to run a city let alone much else
    I’ve endorsed: NONE OF THE ABOVE

  7. Mark, I did not say “no can do”. We are constantly recruiting candidates, and unfortunately, we weren’t able to get one for mayor. I wish we had been able to get one, one that was capable of getting 12,500 signatures. But no serious candidate stepped up.
    So what did we do? Two candidate approached us, Wilson and Vallas, and said that they actively wanted Republican support and were willing to affiliate themselves with Republicans. So we heard them, we voted, and we reported the results. That’s it. Now Republicans in the city have some guidance on who the least-worst candidates are.

  8. Why does my opinion matter?
    I love Chicago and hate to see the steady decline and out migration due terrible public policy. I also work in the city and operate a business there. It’s odd that one would question my interest.
    I do have an apartment in Chicago with a wedding dress in the crawl space just in case I need to run for mayor in the future.,
    Also as I’ve indicated before I don’t like Illinois Review allowing people to comment with fake names operating as trolls. I respect the people who give their name and stand by their comment. I rarely look at Capital Fax which is almost all democrat trolls making comments.
    I do welcome healthy and honest debate.
    I’ve said before their are good possible candidates that could run in the city but they should be given some encouragement. Five that come to mind are Charles Love, Chris Myers, Matt Podgorski, Ammie Kessem and Chris Cleveland. While I complain I am optimistic the Illinois GOP and Chicago GOP have the opportunity to grow.

  9. So the Chicago Republicans/Conservatives think of themselves as an interest group and not a party; no wonder they are so pathetic! With virtually only Democrats running for mayor this was a golden opportunity for the GOP to get a candidate into the runoff. After all, Trump got over 132,000 votes in the city of Chicago. If the GOP got those people to vote Republican in this election, that would be more than enough to get into a runoff. And after that, anything is possible.
    John Kass’s readers wanted to draft him, but he’s a suburbanite and unless his wife left a wedding dress or other article of clothing in a Chicago home, he couldn’t run. So why didn’t Kass draft his buddy, Dan Proft? Proft is a Chicago resident, has name recognition from his radio gig, and most importantly, has access to Dick Uihlein’s money. Why didn’t he step up and be the Illinois GOP leader he fancies himself to be? Money wouldn’t be a problem; I can’t imagine Dick U. not salivating at the prospect of his boy in the runoff election for mayor of Chicago. Does Proft still have too much baggage from his days in Cicero or does he just like to complain about how bad things are in Chicago and Illinois from his cushy radio gig and bagman for Uihlein?