When I filed to run for State Central Committee, I knew that more than likely there would be other candidates in the race. It is, after all, an election.
I put my name on the ballot because I was confident (and still am confident) I could and would win the election. What I am still having a hard time believing is what has transpired since I sent in my application to run for the State Central Committee.
First, I started receiving phone calls demanding that I get out of the race. These intimidation tactics only served to make more resolved to not only run but win convincingly.
Then I got a phone call from the Illinois Republican Party informing me I had been kicked off the ballot. I was told that state statute dictated that I needed a letter of recommendation from an elected Republican official in my district in order to qualify to be on the ballot.
I then asked if the aforementioned state statute could be produced. I received nothing. I then asked for bylaws indicating a rule about where the letter of recommendation could originate. Again, nothing but crickets.
What I was told was that the Executive Committee, which seems to be as difficult to identify as the names of the people who patronized had the authority to rule in this matter and in their opinion, I was not eligible to run.
I am a duly elected Republican County Chairman (all but 2 yrs. of the last 26) in Shelby County. I am an elected State Representative (8-1/2 yrs. of the last 10-1/2). I have recruited and elected numerous Republicans in Shelby County and helped elect Republicans to the statehouse.
My letter of recommendation came from another elected Republican State Legislator whose district & home is in the 15th Congressional District. Here is the language directly from the ILGOP SCC Application:
"Provide a letter of recommendation from an elected Republican official who resides in your congressional district."
My letter of recommendation came from an elected Republican who resides in my congressional district. Come mid-January 2023, his home will be just outside the "new" 15th District, however today he meets the criteria set forth in the application. The language is clear, "resides in your CD."
I understand there are people who do not want to see me win this race but instead of going out and trying to beat me – they have chosen to use the power of the State Party to kick me off the ballot and pave the way for their chosen candidate to win without opposition.
What is happening to me is not right. How can we as Republicans even talk about election integrity when shenanigans like this go on within our own party?
After a lot of thought and a lot of prayer, I have to decided to fight back. I am going to run regardless of what of what the capricious insiders running our party have to say.
If you support the indefensible actions of the Illinois State Party, then by all means vote for my opponent. But if you want real change and want a leadership in our party that reflects our values, then cast your vote for me and remind our party leaders that the party belongs to the people – not the insiders.
I am humbly asking for your vote for State Central Committee in the 15th District.