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Embattled IL GOP Chair Don Tracy Becomes Distraction as Names Surface to Replace Him

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By Illinois Review

While IL GOP chairman Don Tracy is under fire from grassroots conservatives, sources confirm to Illinois Review that state central committee members are secretly floating the names of potential successors.

It’s not uncommon for an IL GOP chairman to resign during the middle of their term. In 2020, then chairman Tim Schneider announced during the state central committee’s December meeting that he would be resigning and appointing a special committee to choose his successor.

Republican voters are still reeling from massive losses during the November election in Illinois that saw the GOP losing every statewide race; losing winnable congressional races; and handing Democrats once again a supermajority in both the Illinois House and Senate chambers – leaving Republicans voiceless and irrelevant in local and state matters.

And despite publishing a weekly “Chairman’s Memo,” and serving as the leader of the IL Republican party, Tracy has yet to take any responsibility for the losses.

Several names have surfaced in the last week as potential candidates to replace Tracy, including state central committee member for the 8th District, Dean White; state central committee member for the 15th District, State Sen. Jason Plummer, 54th District; Will County grassroots activist, businesswoman and founder of the 10,000-plus member Illinois Patriots group Christina Clausen; former US Senate candidate Peggy Hubbard; and businessman and former candidate for governor Gary Rabine.

Sources have also confirmed to Illinois Review the idea of co-chairmen – a chairman representing the southern part of Illinois and another chairman representing the northern part of the state. With Illinois being such a large and diverse state – having co-chairs is an interesting idea and one that could help unify the various factions within the IL GOP.

In 2018, IL GOP chairman Tim Schneider named Lake County GOP chair Mark Shaw to serve as his co-chair. Schneider also named Shaw president of the Illinois Republican County Chairmen’s Association.

In announcing the appointment of a co-chairman, Schneider said,

“Chairman Mark Shaw is a great asset to the Illinois Republican Party, and I’m very pleased to announce a new joint effort with him to refocus our party’s efforts on grassroots and county-level organizing. This year’s [2018] election might be the most consequential one in our state’s history, so we must be more organized than ever before.”

The next state central committee meeting is scheduled for December 10th at the Bolingbrook Golf Club in Bolingbrook.

11 COMMENTS

  1. It would be wonderful if this publication could help bring our party together instead of fueling the division. As someone who has run for office statewide, I know first hand that there are not enough Republicans left in this state for us to win any elections unless we all work together and attract like-minded Independent voters. The attacks on Chairman Tracy are completely unwarranted. The information used was from 20 years ago. Let’s remember that Ronald Reagan was also a Democrat at one time before he became one of our greatest Republican Presidents in history. I’m struck by the number of people who have never run for office, never run a campaign, never canvassed thousands of doors, never raised millions of dollars to support Republican political efforts, and/or never contributed substantial funds to the ILGOP or a specific candidate are now the loudest voices complaining about the results of this election. I have done all of the above, and it is not easy. If this past election tells us anything, it is that we cannot win elections by only attracting our Republican base. We win elections by listening to voters, bringing solutions to their primary concerns, having a consistent message, and by “growing the pie” — attracting more voters to our party. Please consider leading a narrative that helps us accomplish this instead of driving more division.

    • ” Let’s remember that Ronald Reagan was also a Democrat at one time before he became one of our greatest Republican Presidents in history. I’m struck by the number of people who have never run for office, never run a campaign, never canvassed thousands of doors, never raised millions of dollars to support Republican political efforts, and/or never contributed substantial funds to the ILGOP or a specific candidate are now the loudest voices complaining about the results of this election.”

      YES! Nailed it. We are bleeding voters, and all this isn’t going to help.

    • Hey Leslie, have you figured out what 8 x 7 is? What about 9 x 3? What about 8 x 4?

      By the way, who exactly is Don Tracy “attracting to our party”? Certainly not young people. Certainly not mothers. We need someone young who cares about the future of our children. A 73 year old white guy isn’t helping here. He had his chance and lost big.

      • It’s the candidates job to attract the voters — not the state party Chairman. And when the candidate at the top of the ballot has a message that is unappealing to a majority of voters, they do not attract enough voters to win.

        • So did you lose every time because of the top of your ticket, or was it because you didn’t attract enough voters?

          But you’re deflecting from my question: what is 8 x 7? Or, “eight sevens,” to use your vernacular?

    • I’m struck by establishment politicians who have never won an election telling the voters and people who foot the bills for the state to just shut up, we are your bettors.

      You are an incompetent candidate for an incompetent party. Get out of the way.

  2. Leslie, I was at the lunch today with Rep. Donalds, and I am wondering what you thought when he said that the people we need to win elections are not in this room. Did you agree with Rep. Donalds?

    Now go back to your comment above. Who is growing the pie? Is it the people who were in the room, or is it the people who were not in the room, those people who do the door knocking, who work the phones, who attend the meetings and otherwise get out into the communities (especially those communities that don’t look like where the people in the room live)? Is it the people who will pay the $100/plate to be at the IL GOP Christmas Party, or the people who cannot afford that amount but will work long hours away from their families volunteering?

    • Growing the pie is bringing in people who don’t usually consider voting Republican. That is what Congressman Donalds was talking about. We have to get out our our comfortable neighborhoods, meet new voters, LISTEN to what they are concerned about and be their voice in government. Florida won because their voters were most concerned about were crime, the economy, and education. That’s what FL candidates promised, and that’s what they did. I spent the last year leading a project for the IL GOP (as a volunteer) where we talked with voters all over the state, including Chicago. You know what? IL voters are concerned about the same things that FL voters are. Yet our candidates don’t talk about those issues. IL voters don’t like the way Democrats run Illinois, but they view them as the “lesser of two evils” because Republican candidates do not represent their concerns. The effective leader of our party during a campaign is the candidate at the top of the ballot. It’s on the candidate — not the party chairman. Our gubernatorial candidate obviously did not represent the views of a majority of IL voters — if he did, he would be the governor-elect. That impacted candidates all the way down the ballot. And by the way, yesterday’s luncheon was free. It was a thank you for the many of us who knocked on hundreds — even thousands — of doors talking with voters, donated and funded candidates and the ILGOP, helped with messaging, and held fundraisers to help.

  3. Thank you for reminding me why I was at the lunch with you yesterday. Yes, I do all of those things, especially the volunteering part as a civil servant. I presume I will see you at the IL GOP Christmas Party next week, and that is $100/plate. Perhaps I heard something different, but Rep. Donalds was unambiguously clear that the people in the room are not the people who win elections. They need everyone who was not in the room to win the elections. They need the people who won’t be at next week’s IL GOP Christmas Party to win elections. I appreciated that Rep. Donalds put a finer point on his argument: we need the African American and Hispanic servers who were in the room to win elections.

    I don’t recall Rep. Donalds mentioning the gubernatorial race at all. I know a lot of us like to come up with excuses for why we lost that make us feel better about ourselves. Senator Bailey was not my cup of tea either, but to blame our double-digit defeats all across the board on him is myopic. Besides, he outperformed Bruce Rauner in Chicago. In the suburban areas where I live, we just did not motivate enough of our voters the way the Democrats did and we failed in our outreach to minorities, to youth, and to the poor and working class (i.e., those who were not in the room).

  4. I nominate Jennifer Nevins, a rock-solid conservative and proud conservative nationalist. And if there were a debate before electing the new chairman, a debate with Nevins and Hubbard would be EPIC!!

  5. I approached Chairman Don Tracy at a meeting right before the election. There is no outreach to Hispanic or Black voters it all talk and no action. NAME ONE CANDIDATE of minority status that the Illinois GOP put it’s weight behind, NO ONE. Oh don’t say RICHARD IRVIN, He is a DEMOCRAT, Pro-BLM, Pro Defund the POLICE and PRO-Illegal alien, Yes they did put time and money behind this guy who no one wanted. State Rep Tim Butler is resigning as of January 1, 2023. There is a Black super conservative, NRA instructor, IRAQI war Vet that has submitted his paper work. He is an Auditor for the State. He KNOWS where the Bodies are Buried!
    Do you think he has a CHANCE? I already alerted Don Tracy about him and he submitted his stellar qualifications. MARK VARGAS should interview this guy on the radio!
    The Illinois GOP did Not back Rosanna Pulido, a Latina, Eric Wallace, who is a wonderful Successful Conservative, Peggy Hubbard, I could go on and on. IF you are not a RINO, they really don’t want you.

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