Illinois GOP Chairman Choice Infuriates Right

Wednesday, 05 Jun 2013 03:44 PM

By John Gizzi

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In selecting a successor to Illinois State Republican Chairman Pat Brady last week, the party's State Central Committee may have created more problems than it solved.

With 18 committee members casting weighted votes in a closed-door meeting, the winner was Rosemont lobbyist Jack Dorgan.

Most accounts had Dorgan winning just over a majority, with Hinsdale businessman and conservative favorite Jim Nalepa second with 41 percent, and the remaining five contenders dividing the remaining 8 percent.

As angry conservatives pointed out after the meeting, Dorgan has long been associated with the state GOP's moderate faction and himself has contributed to such Democratic office-holders as state House Speaker Mike Madigan and his daughter, state Attorney General Lisa Madigan.

Former Republican U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh voiced the fury of conservatives when he said after Dorgan's election: "All we needed was the proverbial smoke to fill the backroom in which this deal was cut. It seems now that Dorgan was the inevitable choice, regardless of what the grassroots of the party wanted."

More optimistic conservatives pointed out to us that Dorgan only has a few months to fill out the remainder of Brady's term and then there will be a vote for a full term in the chairmanship.

In the meantime, one GOP source told us, "watch for a movement to take out at least two state central committee members who cut a deal to support Dorgan after the grass-roots made it clear they wanted Nalepa."

John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.

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