Illinois State Republican Chairman Pat Brady announced he was quitting last week, after receiving intra-party criticism for failure to gain new political ground last year and for his support of gay marriage.
The early favorite to succeed Brady is Hinsdale businessman and staunch conservative Jim Nalepa, who has already lined up considerable backing from members of the state party committee, who have weighted votes based on their counties.
In a losing bid for chairman in 2005, Nalepa won high marks for his speech before the committee in which he said the party "did not need Casper Milquetoast as chairman — it needs Gen. George Patton."
Even moderate Republicans such as state Senate GOP Leader Christine Radogno have said the right-of-center, pro-life Nalepa is the "best face and voice of this party."
The state Republican Party is in the doldrums, with only one statewide office-holder, minorities in both houses of the state legislature, and having lost four House members in 2012.
Other candidates for the post include former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, and lobbyist Jack Dorgan. The state GOP committee has not set a date to elect Brady's successor.
John Gizzi is chief political columnist and White House correspondent for Newsmax.
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