Illinois GOP chair announces his resignation as party's deep divisions play out

 June 20, 2024

Republicans are set to converge on the city of Milwaukee next month and make former President Donald Trump their party's 2024 nominee.

However, the GOP has taken a chaotic turn in neighboring Illinois, where the state party's head just announced that he will be resigning. 

Departing chair bemoans "animosities" and "intra party power struggles"

According to the Chicago Tribune, Illinois Republican Party chairman Don Tracy revealed on Wednesday that he is stepping down.

"When I took on this full-time volunteer job in February, 2021, I thought I would be spending most of my time fighting Democrats, helping elect Republicans, raising money to pay for more Party infrastructure, and advocating for Party unity," the Tribune quoted Tracy as saying in his resignation letter.

"Unfortunately, however, I have had to spend far too much time dealing with intra party power struggles, and local intra party animosities that continued after primaries and County Chair elections," he lamented.

The departing chairman recalled how "[i]n better days, Illinois Republicans came together after tough intra party elections."

Tracey's resignation letter comes following removal of state party vice chair

"Now however, we have Republicans who would rather fight other Republicans than engage in the harder work of defeating incumbent Democrats by convincing swing voters to vote Republican," he asserted.

Tracey went on to explain that his resignation will take effect "no later than July 19," which is two days after the Republican National Convention is scheduled to wrap up in Milwaukee.

The Tribune observed that news of Tracey's departure came just days after state party vice chair Mark Shaw was removed from his position.

Shaw was also booted from the fundraising committee following a vote on Monday by the Illinois Republican State Central Committee.

He had previously sought to be named committeeman to the Republican National Committee but was defeated overwhelmingly in three votes at the state party convention last month.

Shaw threatened to fight Del Mar, a mixed martial artist

Tracey condemned Shaw's removal in his resignation letter, alleging it had been done "without due process" and "portends a direction of the state party I am not comfortable with."

The Tribune identified former Cook County GOP chair Aaron Del Mar and state Sen. Jason Plummer as being potential successors to Tracey. Both currently serve on the state central committee.

The newspaper also noted that Shaw recently threatened to physically fight Del Mar despite him being a mixed martial artist.

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