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HomeIllinois NewsA divided IL GOP picks downstate attorney as next chairman

A divided IL GOP picks downstate attorney as next chairman



Don Tracy

CHICAGO – For the first time since 1988, the Illinois Republican Party chairman hails from outside Chicago and the collar counties. Saturday, the IL GOP State Central Committee voted in Springfield attorney and businessman Don Tracy over two other finalists.

Downstate conservative lawmakers lauded the pick.

State Representatives Blaine Wilhour (R-Beecher City), Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville), Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur), Chris Miller (R-Oakland) and Adam Niemerg R-Dieterich) released a statement saying, "We have been and will continue to be engaged in this process, and we look forward to working with Chairman Tracy. Make no mistake about it- the election of Don Tracy as State Party Chairman is a big win for conservatives." 

Tracy said in a statement he believes the upcoming election cycle can be "monumental" if the party seizes on the opportunities before them.

"We have a weakened Governor who can be defeated; we have a US Senate seat to win; we are well-positioned to win back Congressional seats; we can claw back seats in the state legislature if we recruit the right candidates; and lastly, we have an historic opportunity to elect a fourth Republican to the state Supreme Court for the first time ever," he said. 
Sources from within the decision-making Saturday said while Tracy won the election, the State Central Committee was fairly divided over the direction the party is to take. The vote does demonstrate those with votes are unhappy with the Illinois Republican Party's ongoing minority status.
While the IL GOP has been following the lead of anti-conservative activists and consultants for years, the election of Tracy could indicate the growing power of downstate Republicans that deliver most of the state's conservative, pro-Trump Republican votes – granting them more weight in the party's decision-making. 
Tracy's comments called for unity, and the downstate Republican lawmakers cheered him on. 
"This isn't a Trump or anti-Trump deal.  It's about putting the Republican Party in the best position to win by speaking to the middle class and working class families in Illinois who have disproportionately shouldered the burden of poor policies from our state's one-party rule for far too long." 


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  1. From Mary Morrissey, Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Illinois…
    “As the Republican Party struggles to take control of its party back from white supremacists and violent extremists, Illinois Republicans have chosen a leader whose ties to Donald Trump and Bruce Rauner promise a return to the failed policies of the past. The Illinois GOP has deemed Don Tracy, a Trump supporter who resigned as the Illinois Gaming Board chair after steering illegal contributions to former Governor Rauner’s campaign, as their best hope to carry their party into the future. It will be interesting to see if the Illinois Republican Party will continue to embrace questionable leadership, division and extremism or consider working with Democrats to find solutions that lift up workers and families across Illinois. We aren’t holding our breath.”
    The Republican Party has no white supremacists and violent extremists! Mr. Tracy you need to hit back on this crap hard Democrats are the party of BLM and ANTIFA terrorists insurrectionists!

  2. Tracy has to do better than the present bunch that raised practically no money in this big state and did nothing but blame Trump and his supporters for every problem in the Illinois Republican Party—just like “moderates” have been doing since Goldwater. Despite the mail-in fraud, Trump did better percentage wise in 2020 than Rauner in 2018, almost equaling the votes of Jelly Belly in 2018 despite the Kinzingers that infest the Republican Party of this state. It can be done in 2022 and Tracy is a start of the Illinois Republican Party finally rising the ash heap.

  3. ” Despite the mail-in fraud, Trump did better percentage wise in 2020 than Rauner in 2018, almost equaling the votes of Jelly Belly in 2018 despite the”
    A fact that so few appreciate. DJT
    In 2016 DJT received 38.8% and 2.146M votes in Illinois.
    In 2020 DJT secured 40.6% and 2.447M votes.
    And if you look at a delta map, you’ll see that, at least in the Chicagoland area, more Mexican-Americans and African-Americans voted for DJT in 2020 than they did in 2016.
    Because minorities are culturally conservative and fiscally liberal, as is DJT.
    I think that’s why the GOP establishment is so despondent over DJT. The establishment wants the GOP to become the opposite: culturally liberal but fiscally conservative

  4. Obviously results matter but I will concede this is a positive move. Any attempt to break the cycle of failure should be encouraged.
    It is up to the People to keep the heat on and force the IL-GOP to leave behind their decades of failure theater.