* From April of 2018…
While chairmanships appear settled across the state, the election of the 15th Congressional District state central committeeman - between incumbent Bob Winchester or State Sen. Chapin Rose - remains uncertain.
The congressional district includes all or part of 33 southern Illinois counties and is led by Congressman John Shimkus of Collinsville.
* May of 2018…
Bob Winchester, central committeeman of the Illinois Republican Party since 1992, claims in U.S. district court that the party rigged an election against him.
His lawyer, Stephen Boulton of Chicago, alleges that the party improperly favored State Sen. Chapin Rose of Champaign for committeeman in an election on April 18.
According to Boulton’s complaint, irregularities occurred at county conventions across the 15th Congressional district.
* This week…
A Republican Party operative has lost his challenge in U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Illinois after failing to be re-elected as central committeeman in the 15th Congressional District.
Robert Winchester, following his defeat in the April 2018 election to represent the district on the Illinois Republican Party (IRP) State Central Committee, had sued claiming the election was “fraught with irregularities” and that he was the actual winner - and not Chapin Rose, a Republican state senator representing the 51st District.
Winchester alleged he was denied by the “systematic machinations of the chairman of the IRP and committeemen,” including that his name was not placed on ballots, non-existent votes were added to his opponents’ tally, people were not able to vote for him, and the wrong results were reported. […]
The IRP, individual committeemen, the board and election winner Rose all filed motions to dismiss in the U.S. District Court, largely arguing that the federal court lacked jurisdiction over what is a state dispute.
District Judge Staci Yandle agreed and pointed out that the 11th Amendment “prohibits federal courts from entertaining suits by private parties against states and their agencies.” She also dismissed his argument - made in Winchester’s response to the motion but not in the original complaint - that his First Amendment rights of freedom of speech and assembly were violated.