Chicago Republican committeemen vote to support Paul Vallas for mayor

Chicago -- On Sunday afternoon Chicago Republican ward committeemen gathered to hear from candidates for mayor who were seeking their endorsement and support. The committeemen voted to endorse as follows:

Paul Vallas - 16 committeemen
Willie WIlson - 9 committeemen
Garry McCarthy - 2 committeemen
Jerry Joyce - 1 committeeman
Declined to endorse - 3 committeemen

There are currently 38 active Republican ward organizations in the city. Not all were able to attend the meeting.

Committeemen voting for Vallas cited his strong knowledge of city government, personal honesty, willingness to take on corruption, and ability to tackle difficult budget problems.

Committeemen voting for Wilson cited his compelling personal story, success in business, outsider status, and ability to appeal to a broad swath of the city.

Republicans currently get approximately 20% of the vote in the City of Chicago in any competitive statewide race. The Republican vote in a Chicago municipal election is untested, though, because there hasn't been a strong Republican candidate for mayor in decades.

This year, however, Republicans are likely to have a significant impact, because there are 14 candidates in the race, with no single candidate polling over 15%. Top candidates are separated by only a few points. Republican voters could single-handedly get a candidate into the runoff.

"Candidates for mayor need to listen to us," said Cleveland. "In any election in which there are multiple competitive Democrats, we decide which one wins."

"If you think of us as a political party, we're not a very strong one," said Chris Cleveland, chairman of the Chicago GOP. "But if you think of us as an interest group, we're an 800 pound gorilla. Name another interest group that gets 20% of the vote. No one else comes close."

Chicago GOP to Sue CPS Over School Walkouts

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Chicago -- The Chicago Republican Party is preparing to sue Chicago Public Schools over CPS plans to stage pro-gun control rallies during the school day tomorrow.

Gun control advocacy groups are organizing a national student walkout tomorrow to protest the Parkland shooting and press for additional gun laws. Nominally a student-led walkout, some schools are taking an active role in organizing the rallies and compelling students to participate.

An email sent by the principal of Lincoln Elementary School in Chicago to parents stated:

This coming Wednesday, March 14 many students/schools across the nation (and globe) are going to participate in a school walkout demonstration at 10:00 AM to support the memory of those that were killed in the Parkland, FL shooting and also to demonstrate their right to express their opinion about gun control.

At Lincoln, we will also participate in a walkout.

The email went on to explain how grades 5 - 8 will be taken outside for a "silent demonstration". Students are encouraged to bring posters. Students who do not wish to participate will be sent to a room where they can wait, away from their peers. Classes are cancelled during the walkout.

"It's appalling that 10 to 14-year-old kids would be coerced, by their teachers, to participate in a political demonstration," said Chris Cleveland, chairman of the Chicago GOP. "A 10-year-old kid isn't going to have an informed opinion on these political matters, and shouldn't be expected to have the fortitude to hold a different opinion from everyone else in his or her classroom. This is political indoctrination, pure and simple."

"It's a violation of CPS policy, of state law, and of the First Amendment for a government-run school to organize a political demonstration and pressure students to participate in it," said Cleveland.

The Chicago GOP has sent a letter to CPS CEO Janice Jackson asking CPS to cancel the demonstrations, and will likely sue if they do not.

The Chicago GOP has also filed a complaint with the CPS Office of Inspector General, Nicholas Schuler.

Jeanne Ives Wins Chicago Republican Party Straw Poll Over Rauner 17 - 3


Jeanne Ives Wins Chicago Republican Party Straw Poll Over Rauner 17 - 3

January 11, 2018 -- In a major upset, the Central Committee of the Chicago Republican Party voted 17 to 3 with 2 abstentions to back conservative challenger Jeanne Ives over incumbent Governor Bruce Rauner. The vote took place Wednesday evening at a general meeting of the city's Republican ward committeemen.

Ives spoke to the group for nearly an hour before the vote. Governor Rauner had been invited to speak, but declined to do so. Rauner has avoided large gatherings of Republicans since signing a bill to create taxpayer-funded abortions earlier in the year.

"Jeanne impressed everyone with her determination to hit the state's problems head-on. She also showed a command of policy details," said Chris Cleveland, chairman of the Chicago Republican Party.

"It's almost unheard of for a regular Republican organization to fail to endorse an incumbent governor," said Cleveland. "The people in the room felt that Rauner had betrayed them."

The vote kicks off a season of endorsement sessions by county and township Republican organizations in the run-up to the March primary. So far, two suburban organizations have announced endorsements, both for Ives.

The decision by the Chicago Republican Party to back Ives is significant because of the sheer number of votes produced by the City of Chicago. Republicans in the city produce 5% of the Republican primary vote, and 7.5% of the Republican vote in a general election. The number of Republican votes in the city is larger than the number produced by any county except Cook and DuPage. Primary voters often look to local party organizations for guidance on candidate selection.


Candidate recruiting continues

Candidate recruiting continues! It's late October, but it's not too late to get on the ballot for the 2018 election. We're looking for candidates for city, county and state office. If you've thought about running for office, now is the time. Visit our candidates page and follow the instructions.

Time is running out, because some offices require as many as 1,000 signatures, and the filing deadline is early December. Contact us soon!

Chicago GOP condemns tax increase, announces candidate recruiting

The Chicago Republican Party condemned today's vote to increase Illinois taxes by 32%, and announced the kickoff of its 2018 candidate recruiting season.

"This tax increase is the opposite of what Illinois needs," said Chicago GOP chairman Chris Cleveland. "We expect large numbers of candidates to come out of the woodwork in response."

"We're recruiting candidates to run in the Chicago area who are fed up with Mike Madigan. We're going to give voters the chance to say how they feel about having the highest tax burden in the country."

In particular, the Chicago GOP is looking for a candidate to run against Mike Madigan. "Voters are going to get a chance to vote on Bruce Rauner, but they never get a chance to vote on Mike Madigan. Madigan has rigged the system so that he never has a Republican opponent. We're going to change that," said Cleveland.

In 2014 and 2016 the Chicago GOP recruited Republican candidates to run in heavily Democratic areas. The candidates and their volunteers knocked on hundreds of thousands of doors, and raised the Republican vote in the city enough to give a boost to Republican candidates for statewide office.

In 2014, the Chicago GOP ran an "American Idol"-style contest to find first-time candidates for office. 150 candidates applied, and were winnowed down to 18 who ultimately received the thumbs-up.

Individuals interested in running for office should visit