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A veteran Illinois GOP insider and Springfield lobbyist appears to have moved to the front of the pack in the competition to fill out the term of resigned state Republican Chairman Pat Brady.
Multiple high-level Republican sources tell me that Jack Dorgan, a Rosemont village trustee, is close to securing the votes he’ll need from fellow members of the Illinois Republican Committee when that panel meets on Saturday to elect a new chairman to serve until April 2014.
Mr. Dorgan, 53, declined almost all comment to me, saying only in a phone conversation that he’s interested in the job and is “excited about the opportunity to remind the voters that Illinois is a two-party state.” But he has a long, long record, one that has both made him friends and enemies in the party. […]
I predict a lively meeting on Saturday, with much to discuss. But Mr. Dorgan has friends, with sources suggesting that U.S. Sen. Mark Kirk, R-Ill., will back him.
Dorgan didn’t decline to comment to me.
Dorgan, who is also a Rosemont Village Trustee, does not yet have the needed 50 percent-plus-one majority votes from the panel, but he’s closer than the remaining seven candidates, a knowledgeable source told the Sun-Times. Attorney Mark Shaw, businessman Jim Nalepa, Angel Garcia, Don Tracy, Lori Yokoyama and Joe Walsh are others still on list.
– Other developments: Cook County Commissioner Tim Schneider, who was once rumored to be the front-runner, has withdrawn his name from contention.
– Former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh is the only candidate not to provide a resume yet and is not actively calling people asking for support. (It’s thought that a party leadership role would threaten Walsh’s new radio gig).
– Each candidate will have five minutes to address the public before the committee goes into private session with the candidates.
I’ve known Dorgan for years, and I still don’t understand why he wants the worst job in Illinois. He thinks he can do some good. But, man, is he ever in for some tough times if he wins.