GOP Chairman showdown heats up

Capitol Connection

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (WCIA) — The fight for control of the Illinois Republican Party is heating up with little more than a week left before they pick a party chair. 

Thursday afternoon, the Illinois State Board of Elections confirmed results from the State Central Committee’s contest. But, there is still a dispute over the winner in the 15th Congressional District. 

The results showed State Senator Chapin Rose (R-Mahomet) won. He could be the deciding vote, but critics say the process was rigged.

According to Matt Dietrich, a spokesman for the State Board of Elections, ISBE has no legal authority over the party rules.

“All we are able to do under state statute is accept the results when the party gives them to us from their county conventions and certify those results, which are then used to elect the state chairman,” Dietrich said. 

Local party operative Mark Shaw said Thursday’s announcement shouldn’t significantly change the outcome of his race against current GOP Chairman Tim Schneider. Shaw is threatening legal action because of the dispute.

The Illinois Republican Party released a statement after the results were announced.

“Sen. Rose and the 17 other members of the State Central Committee will be seated at the upcoming meeting and will cast their votes for party chairman,” ILGOP spokesman Aaron DeGroot stated. “We look forward to completing this important party business and focusing our efforts to defeat JB Pritzker and Mike Madigan in the upcoming November election.”

The committee is scheduled to appoint the party chair on May 19th.

*A previous version of this story inaccurately referred to Aaron DeGroot as a spokesman for Governor Rauner’s office. 

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