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Members of the Illinois Republican Party on Saturday picked a former gaming board chief to be the next head of the state party.
Don Tracy, a Springfield attorney who was appointed to lead the Illinois Gaming Board by former Gov. Bruce Rauner, won the backing of members of the state GOP’s central committee.
Tracy was not immediately available for comment.
In a statement earlier this week, Tracy said the “state is in danger” of “becoming a depopulated, left wing, one party, over-taxed, and anti-police financial basket case.”
* I don’t have a press release from the ILGOP, but I do have one from the IDCCA…
Following the Illinois Republican Party electing Raunerite Don Tracy as their new Party Chair, President Kristina Zahorik of the Illinois Democratic County Chairs Association (IDCCA) released the following statement:
“It is rich that the Illinois GOP appointed a new chair with a history of corrupt behavior. We repeatedly watch Illinois Republicans cry crocodile tears over political corruption, and today they proved they’re the Grand Old Party of hypocrisy with their appointment of Don Tracy.”
The State of Illinois Office of Inspector General found that Don Tracy illegally made campaign contributions through his wife while serving on the Illinois Gaming Board. The report said Tracy “made loans and contributions either directly, or through his wife, to political committees” in violation of state law. Tracy was appointed to the Gaming Board by former Republican Governor Bruce Rauner in 2015.
*** UPDATE 1 *** From Mary Morrissey, Executive Director of the Democratic Party of Illinois…
“As the Republican Party struggles to take control of its party back from white supremacists and violent extremists, Illinois Republicans have chosen a leader whose ties to Donald Trump and Bruce Rauner promise a return to the failed policies of the past. The Illinois GOP has deemed Don Tracy, a Trump supporter who resigned as the Illinois Gaming Board chair after steering illegal contributions to former Governor Rauner’s campaign, as their best hope to carry their party into the future. It will be interesting to see if the Illinois Republican Party will continue to embrace questionable leadership, division and extremism or consider working with Democrats to find solutions that lift up workers and families across Illinois. We aren’t holding our breath.”
*** UPDATE 2 *** ILGOP…
In December of 2020, outgoing Illinois Republican Party Chairman Tim Schneider announced a transition plan in which there would be an open and transparent process for the selection of a new chairman. Today, after lengthy interviews with the three finalists, spirited discussion, and a weighted vote amongst the ILGOP State Central Committee, Don Tracy of Springfield has been chosen as the next chairman of the Illinois Republican Party and has unanimous support from the committee.
Tim Schneider immediately offered his resignation and Don Tracy accepted the role of chairman to fill the remaining two years of Schneider’s term.
Chairman Don Tracy has released the following statement in response to his selection:
“I am truly honored and excited to have been chosen by the State Central Committee to serve as Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party. I want to thank each member for the opportunity to serve. I promise to lead with honesty, integrity, and the vigor we need to turn Illinois around. I also want to thank the other two finalists - Mark Shaw and Scott Gryder - for their tireless work on behalf of the Republican Party. I look forward to working with them to elect more Republicans.
I ran for this position because I love Illinois - it’s my home - and I believe the ILGOP can be a tremendous catalyst for change in this state. The upcoming election cycle can be monumental if we seize on the tremendous opportunities before us. We have a weakened Governor who can be defeated; we have a US Senate seat to win; we are well-positioned to win back Congressional seats; we can claw back seats in the state legislature if we recruit the right candidates; and lastly, we have an historic opportunity to elect a fourth Republican to the state Supreme Court for the first time ever.
The only way we can capitalize on these opportunities in 2022 is if we unite the party. My number one priority is to give every Republican a seat at the table and give every Republican a voice. Regardless of our differences, Republicans are the only hope for turning Illinois around and keeping it from becoming a depopulated, over-taxed, and anti-police financial basket case. There’s too much at stake in 2022 to be anything less than a united band of brothers and sisters in the fight to save Illinois.
So, whatever your political leanings, wherever you live - if you want to fight corruption, restore fiscal sanity, grow our economy, and stand for law and order - you’re on our team. It’s time to suit up, work together, and bring home some wins for the people of Illinois.”
Don Tracy is a successful businessman and lawyer from Springfield, Illinois. Born and raised in rural Mt. Sterling (Brown County, Illinois), he is the oldest of twelve children. Don and his eleven siblings own the thriving family business, Dot Foods, Inc., a national redistributor of food and related products, and other national businesses. Headquartered in Mt. Sterling (population: 2,025), Dot Foods, Inc. was founded in 1960 by Don’s father and currently employs 6,000 people across the United States and Canada.
Don is the first chairman of the Illinois Republican Party from outside Chicago and the collar counties since 1988.
*** UPDATE 3 *** House GOP Leader Jim Durkin…
The stark contrast between Don Tracy and Public Official A, who is still the chairman of the Democratic Party of Illinois, will speak volumes in Illinois households this upcoming election cycle. Don Tracy will work diligently to rebuild the Republican Party in Illinois so we can continue our momentum in the 2022 election cycle and take over the majority in the Illinois House and Senate chambers.
*** UPDATE 4 *** Some members of the Eastern Bloc…
State Representatives Blaine Wilhour (R-Beecher City), Brad Halbrook (R-Shelbyville), Dan Caulkins (R-Decatur), Chris Miller (R-Oakland) and Adam Niemerg R-Dieterich) are issuing the following statement on the election of Don Tracy as Illinois Republican Chairman.
“Despite some news reports, Don Tracy is Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party because several of the most conservative legislators in the state who represent the areas with the most weighted vote were involved and backed him.
We talked directly with Tracy and supported him based on his commitment to continuing to engage working families and support the values of working people.
This isn’t a Trump or anti-Trump deal. It’s about putting the Republican Party in the best position to win by speaking to the middle class and working class families in Illinois who have disproportionately shouldered the burden of poor policies from our state’s one-party rule for far too long.
We have been and will continue to be engaged in this process, and we look forward to working with Chairman Tracy. Make no mistake about it- the election of Don Tracy as State Party Chairman is a big win for conservatives.
*** UPDATE 5 *** Senate Republican Leader Dan McConchie…
“I want to offer my sincere congratulations to new Illinois Republican Party Chairman, Don Tracy,” said Illinois Senate Republican Leader Dan McConchie (R-Hawthorn Woods). “I am confident that Don’s business and political experience will be of great value to our party as we begin to rebuild and grow the GOP in our state.”