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HomeIllinois NewsVargas: It's Time for IL GOP Chairman Don Tracy to Resign, Now

Vargas: It’s Time for IL GOP Chairman Don Tracy to Resign, Now



By Mark Vargas, Editor at Large

It is impossible to sugarcoat this and tell you that there’s hope for Republicans in Illinois. Not only did we lose every statewide office, but we lost badly down ballot as well. 

Illinois Senate and House Republicans suffered debilitating defeats on election night, prompting House GOP leader Jim Durkin, R, to resign the day after the election and Senate GOP leader Dan McConchie, R, to resign less than a week later.

The losses leave Republicans in both chambers irrelevant in Springfield and gives Democrats a comfortable supermajority.

This is unacceptable.

There are a lot of reasons why Republicans in Illinois lost the election – $100 million directed at the campaigns of two candidates leaving a lack of funding for down ballot candidates; a divided GOP; a weak candidate at the top of the ticket whose race was called within minutes of the polls closing; no mail-in-ballot program and weak voter integrity initiatives.

And we can’t ignore the impact the abortion issue had on this election. It energized the Democratic base, labeled pro life Republicans as “extremists” and drove suburban women in masses to vote either early, by mail-in-ballot, or on November 8th.

If Illinois Republicans want to start winning again, it’s going to take a united party; a diversified pool of money and an emphasis on building a robust mail-in-ballot program.

It’s also going to take new Illinois GOP leadership – and it is why I am calling on IL GOP Chairman Don Tracy to resign. 

Resign Now. 

The people of Illinois need to know that the GOP is serious about rebuilding and putting the best team in place to win. 

If Don Tracy can take credit for victories, then he most certainly can take responsibility for losses. And the losses were many. 

Virtually the entire House GOP leadership team either lost or retired.

As Capitol News’ Peter Hancock noted, House Deputy Minority Leaders Dan Brady, R, and Tom Demmer, R, were defeated in their bids for statewide office; Assistant House Minority Leader Avery Bourne, R, who ran for lieutenant governor, was defeated in the primary; Assistant Minority Leader Keith Wheeler, R, was defeated for re-election; and Minority Conference Chairman David Welter, R, was also defeated.

Minority Floor Leader Mark Batnick, R, chose not to run for re-election and Assistant Minority Leader Tim Butler, R, is resigning to take a job in the public sector. 

To put it simply, this is a disaster. 

House GOP Minority Leader Jim Durkin and Senate Minority Leader Dan McConchie resigning their leadership positions isn’t enough. 

Don Tracy is a businessman who along with his siblings run the nation’s largest redistributor of food and related products. That business employs 6,000 people in the US and Canada. 

Now, do you think they got here by rewarding losing sales teams?

Do you think they got here by consistently rewarding sales managers who fail to meet their quotas?

The Illinois GOP is not a family business. We don’t report to you – you report to us – the people. 

The Illinois GOP is now a national joke – and as the Chairman of the IL GOP, you bear responsibility. 

The buck stops here. The buck stops with you. Show that you can lead by resigning now. 

We can’t win otherwise. 

Mark Vargas
Mark Vargas
Mark Vargas is a talk show host on WIND 560 AM.


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  1. Agreed, Illinois Republican Party Chairman Don Tracy must go. And if he doesn’t do the honorable thing and resign, Tracy must be forced out when the State Central Committee meets on December 3.

    Many county Republican chairs should consider doing the same honorable thing. Let’s judge by the results some of the collar counties.

    DuPage County Republican Chairman James Zay should consider stepping down when Republicans on the County Board are in a 10-8 minority (Zay won reelection to his County Board seat), and had the at-large elected open county board chairman flipped to Democrat.

    Congressional candidates in both the 6th and 11th districts clobbered in DuPage, too, plus former Lieutenant Governor Evelyn Sanguinetti failed to flip the county clerk’s office from first term Democrat.

    Kane County Republican Chairman Andro Lerario should consider stepping down, too. Three Republican-held county board seats were flipped Democrat in the cities of St. Charles, Geneva and Batavia, handing Democrats a supermajority of 16-8 on the Kane County Board, with the elected chairman already a Democrat. Republicans did not flip a single district, and while Chris Lauzen was elected to the open treasurer’s office, that was due to his own name ID, and not from the Kane party. Congressional candidates in the 11th and 14th districts lost Kane County portions, too.

    Lake County Republican Party Chairman Keith Brin saw the Republicans on the County Board reduced to a 14-5 superminority, and highly publicized Democrat-turned-Republican county clerk lost her reelection bid as a Republican.

    Even McHenry County Republican Party Chairman Jeff Thorsen, in spite of Republicans winning a supermajority of 13-5 on the reduced-to-18-members county board should consider giving up his chairmanship. Thorsen lost his bid for reelection to the McHenry County Board, and was one of 5 Republican incumbents (1 appointed) who lost their seats, along with 2 Democrat incumbents (1 appointed). All of the County Board incumbents losing were men, and if a county Republican Chairman cannot set an example and win their own race, he should step down as county party chair.

    Right now, going into the final days of counting ballots, the Will County Board sits at an 11-11 tie between Republicans and Democrats, but final returns could change that.

    Wise to focus at the top and call for Tracy’s resignation, but others need to resign, too, and committeepersons, both state and precinct, should demand change.

  2. Well Mark, you could have taken it a little farther! You know who was the BIGGEST promoter of Pro-BLM, Pro Defund the Police, Pro-Illegal alien Richard Irvin was? Richard Porter : Richard Porter was first elected to serve as the national committeeman of the Republican Party of Illinois in 2014. You know what they say, SH$$ rolls from the TOP DOWN!
    He has been around a long time, He is a Common denominator or Illinois GOP doing Poorly! He can take Ronna McDaniel with him and sail into the sunset!

  3. We have not had any distiguishing leadership at the state levels since the 1960s, merely a garden-variety, mediocre assemblage of non-entities who showed absolutely inferior qualities of leadership. Such a scene was evident since the late 1980s in the state legislative leadership, politically empty suits who advanced their non-legislative occupations. OUT WITH ALL OF THEM AND AT LEAST HALF OF THE STATE CENTRAL COMMITTEE OF HANGER-ONS!

  4. The candidate who lost the Republican nomination for DuPage County Board Chairman is such a “committed Republican” that he ended up campaigning for Deb Conroy, the Democrat who won the seat. I still have his robo-call on my phone, offering his impassioned plea for a vote for Conroy. Greg Hart was working against both a Republican (when profitable or convenient!) and a Democrat. Imagine that – he lost a 2 against 1 fight. Greg’s sometimes-Republican opponent in the primary was in enough elected positions for those of us paying attention to know exactly what to expect. He performed as expected, and the County has fallen into hands that will not be positive for us going forward.