GOP state chairman to be chosen this week

State Journal Register –

Illinois Comptroller Judy Baar Topinka isn’t in the running to take a position she once had — chairman of the Republican Party of Illinois. But she’s not shy in saying what she thinks of the job after just “a tad of discussion” that she could take it again.

“That has got to be the worst job in the world,” Topinka said.  “It is horrendous. It was just so wearing after two years of that. I was thrilled when I was able to divest myself of it.”

While Topinka, who led the state Republicans from late 2002 to early 2005, hasn’t been a serious contender for the position recently vacated by Pat Brady, there are eight people who are. And the GOP State Central Committee has scheduled a meeting Saturday at the Hilton Springfield to pick the next chairman from that group.

Brady, of St. Charles, recently stepped down to care for his ailing wife, but he also had come under fire for publicly supporting same-sex marriage in opposition to the party platform.

The eight finalists include three members of the state central committee — Jack Dorgan, a lobbyist and Rosemont trustee; attorney Mark Shaw of Lake Forest, a downstate native who has lived in the Chicago area since 1988 and was a GOP candidate for state representative in 2012; and Angel Garcia, a lawyer and president of Chicago Young Republicans.

Others include former U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, R-McHenry, who was outspoken during his single congressional term and lost in 2012 to U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, D-Hoffman Estates; Jim Nalepa of Hinsdale, a West Point grad who has twice run for Congress and operates an executive search firm; attorney Don Tracy of Springfield, who ran for lieutenant governor in the 2010 GOP primary but also ran as a Democrat for state Senate in 2002; Cook County Commissioner Tim Schneider of Bartlett; and Lori Yokoyama, a Chicago lawyer who lost a 2012 race to be Cook County’s top prosecutor to Democratic State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez.

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