Thursday, January 31, 2008

Hey we never hear about these in city politics.

GOP Committeeman races. They do exist! They even exist in a ward such as the 6th, my goodness.

And The Bench points me to this article. Well he's railed about his GOP committeeman in his ward, the 49th. All you have to do is read The Bench or The Broken Heart to see how things are looking up there. Reading their blogs, it's not great.

Anyway the Democratic committeeman races aren't the only partisan races going on in Chicago with Ald. Sandi Jackson taking on Commissioner Bill Beavers in the 7th or Ald. Bernard Stone taking on State Senator Ira Silverstein in the 50th. So here's GOP Committeeman races in two north side Chicago wards from the Chicago News Star. First is the 50th Ward...

Running for his sixth term as the 50th Ward Republican Committeeman is Kenneth H. Hollander, a 40-year resident of West Ridge, which has approximately 350 registered Republicans. Challenging Hollander are first-time candidates Lonnie Ledford, 40, and Kenneth Pacholski, 50.

Hollander has run twice unsuccessfully for Illinois State Representative. He says that his 30 years of experience in business and the last 20 years spent in law enforcement have given him valuable consensus-building skills in Democrat-controlled Chicago and Cook County.

"This ability to deal and negotiate with others is critical, politically speaking at this time," Hollander responded by e-mail, due to a case of laryngitis. "At one time, when Republicans held many of the state and county elected offices, it was much easier for me to help residents of the ward with their respective concerns and problems. Building a wall between myself as the Republican committeeman and all of the Democrats, as my opponents would expound, is ridiculous and futile as everyone loses."

Hollander mentions appointing fair and impartial election judges, attracting new members of the 50th Ward's Republican Party, encouraging quality Republican candidates, and being the party's local voice in civic and business organizations as some of his ongoing accomplishments as the 50th Ward Republican Committeeman.

"(The office of) committeeman is a volunteer position. Doing a good job is our only reward," Hollander said.

Challengers Ledford and Pacholski both say they are pro-life, pro-Second Amendment and pro-lower taxes. Neither has seen or met Hollander.

"I want a higher accountability with our elected officials," said Ledford, who said he would like to eventually become the city's first Republican mayor since Big Bill Thompson left office in 1931. "I want to be able to network with people in each of the precincts within the ward. I would develop a leadership chain of command."

Ledford said that Hollander has "fallen short" as the 50th Ward's top Republican.

"I respect Mr. Hollander, but it may be just a matter of new ideas, new motivation and a new energy that I can provide as the 50th Ward Republican Committeeman," Ledford said.

Pacholski said that while gathering signatures for his petitions to put his name on the ballot, the biggest concern of 50th Ward residents seems to be about the proliferation of "skunks."

"I want to accomplish the little things," Pacholski said. "We're not going to change foreign policy, but we can try to do something about the skunks. I just want to try to get more Republican values (in the ward) and push as far as I can. We haven't seen much activity and I want to try to get more Republican activity."
LOL at the skunks when I saw that I thought that he was talking about politicians who have been there too long. Nope there is literally a problem with skunks up there and this is no metaphor. Man Chicago seems to get some strange wild animals I've seen a possum once or twice. Anway here's the 49th...
In the 49th Ward Republican Committeeman race, incumbent Robert Shearer, who did not return phone calls requesting an interview, is being challenged by another first-time candidate, Kevin Fullam. Fullam, 33, said he's not in step with the mainstream Republican Party but considers himself a "classical conservative" and more of a Libertarian. He supports Ron Paul in the Republican presidential primary.

"There's around 250 registered Republicans in Rogers Park," Fullam said. "A goal right now is to identify where Republicans in the ward stand on various issues, locally and nationally."

Fullam was recruited to run for ward committeeman by the Heartland Institute, a Chicago-based public policy organization that promotes free-market solutions to economic and social issues.

"We talked about how the current committeeman (Shearer) doesn't do much," Fullam said. "There is lots of opposition right now for Democrats. In the event when strong Republican candidates do run, it's a good thing to have a strong organization statewide."
This is worth keeping an eye one though this may or may not mean the resurgence or death of the Republican Party in Chicago. Indeed I kind of like the idea of a classical liberal Republican. You know that's a philosophical territory I'm looking forward to entering in the near future. Or I should say I'd like to explore what that means.

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