By Illinois Review
The influence of Team Irvin is all too apparent on the IL GOP state central committee – and it explains the hostility that the IL GOP establishment has towards the grassroots.
Richard Irvin not only pulled Democratic Primary ballots in 2014, 2016 and 2020, but he also spent years praising Democratic Gov. JB Pritzker – referring to him as a “great friend and a great leader.”
And in 2020, Irvin attended a Black Lives Matter rally, yelling, “I can’t breathe!”
IL GOP leaders have gone out of their way to defend Irvin’s Republican credentials including, IL GOP chairman Don Tracy and IL GOP national committeeman Richard Porter, who served as co-chairman and advisor to Irvin’s campaign.
Last January, when word began to spread about Irvin’s potential candidacy, Tracy confirmed to reporter Mark Maxwell that he was in fact jumping into the race, saying that he would announce his candidacy for governor on Martin Luther King Day.
Tracy told Maxwell that Irvin is “definitely a Republican,” and that he pulled Democratic Primary ballots in 2014, 2016 and 2020 because “that’s where the action is,” in Chicago – even though Irvin is a mayor in Aurora, more than an hour west of Chicago.
And during the December 10th state central committee meeting in Bolingbrook, when it was time for Porter to speak and the crowd began to heckle him about his support for Irvin, Porter shot back, saying, “Richard Irvin is a great Republican!”
But the support of Irvin by the establishment goes deeper than that. Consider Tracy’s personal contributions as reported on the Illinois State Board of Elections website:
-Commissioner Sean Morrison, co-chairman of the Irvin campaign
-State Rep. Tom Demmer, treasure candidate and a member of the Irvin campaign’s slate of candidates
-Shannon Teresi, comptroller candidate and a member of the Irvin campaign’s slate of candidates
-Jim Zay, DuPage County board member who endorsed Irvin for governor
-State Rep. Tim Ozinga, who endorsed Irvin for governor
-State Rep. Tim Butler, who endorsed Irvin for governor
-State Rep. Jim Durkin, who endorsed Irvin for governor
And what’s missing? Tracy’s personal contributions to conservative grassroots candidates.
And in September, Illinois Review has recently learned that Tracy personally appointed former state central committee member Nimish Jani, who endorsed Irvin for governor, to the IL GOP Executive Committee.
In June, it was revealed that Jani was the one responsible for bussing Indian-American senior citizens to the Lake County Republican straw poll to rig the poll in favor of his candidate Richard Irvin. The senior citizens, escorted by staff wearing Irvin-Bourne tee shirts, arrived at the meeting with pre-filled ballots.
Irvin would win the straw poll with 144 votes. The grassroots conservative candidate Darren Bailey would come in second place with 76 votes.
If there was ever a case for stealing an election, this would take the prize.
In a document shared exclusively with Illinois Review – in addition to existing state central committee members, Tracy names a few other individuals to the IL GOP Executive Committee besides Jani.
–Jim Zay, DuPage County board member who endorsed Irvin for governor
–Brad Mills, Sangamon County Administrator who endorsed Irvin for governor
Some would say that stealing elections is as American as apple pie in a place like Chicago, but for some on the IL GOP Executive Committee like Jani, it’s also a welcomed skill.
Tracy sure knows how to pick them.