CHICAGO (AP) — The odds are historically against them, but Illinois’ beleaguered Republicans are looking to reverse their fortunes by recruiting help in the heart of enemy territory: Democratic Chicago.
Three days after the end of a legislative session where the Democratic-controlled General Assembly failed to address a number of pressing issues, Republicans announced efforts to revamp their ranks within the city.
Party officials say the push to find state legislative and City Council candidates is “unprecedented” because of its open, “American Idol”-style public vetting process. Illinois House Republican Leader Tom Cross and state Sen. Matt Murphy announced the campaign Tuesday at a news conference.
Republican leaders say Democrats shouldn’t assume they have a permanent lock on the city, but they acknowledge the GOP has failed to recruit effective candidates, train them or keep them on the ballot.
In recent election cycles, five or fewer of the 37 state legislative seats located within Chicago have been contested, spokesman Chris Cleveland said.
“Half of success is showing up,” said Murphy, a former lieutenant governor candidate and leading budget negotiator in the Statehouse. He called the state’s Democratic leadership an “utter failure.”
“Just look at last week in Springfield,” he said, referencing the Legislature’s adjournment last Friday without deals on pensions, gambling and gay marriage. “This could not come at a better time.”
Working to even the scales between Democrats and Republicans in Chicago districts is only one potential benefit of the plan, as was evident by the participation of Cross and Murphy, neither of which hails from or represents Chicago.
Officials said they expect voter turnout among Chicago Republicans to increase by at least 5 percent as a result of the campaign. That could help give Republican candidates an upper hand in statewide races, including the governor’s race, which the party narrowly lost in the last election.
Murphy is a former lieutenant governor candidate who could make a bid again in 2014, and Cross is a likely candidate for attorney general.
Adam Robinson, chairman of the Chicago Republican Party, said the effort has a $250,000 operating budget, of which $100,000 has been raised.
An estimated 150,000 Chicago residents who voted Republican in the last general election are targeted. Party officials say potential candidates will be recruited by web ads, before entering a public vetting process and having their campaigns backed by legal representation.
Currently, only one Republican state lawmaker hails from Chicago – State Rep. Michael McAuliffe, who succeeded his late father, Roger, a longtime Republican state representative.
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This Week’s Celebrity Instagrams (11/26-12/2)
30 photos Launch gallery
1. Little Legend and Puddy 😍😍😍😍
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2. "You on point Phife?" "all the time,Tip". 💥 #bannedfromnormal
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3. Vegan! The Impossible burger at Crossroads
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4. Lawrence #BeforeandAfterEpisodes 1-4: 184lbs 13% body fatEpisode 8: 196lbs 8% body fat S/O @coachdaveboxing with the works outs and @kildareriordan with the nutrition
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5. Jus haaaanngin out
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6. Meanwhile back at home in Atlanta GA someone mad they not on the 🛳. 😳
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7. No limits... Photo cred: Chris Bridges @ludacris
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8. new new
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9. Apparently my 260lbs is too much for the actual vines in the Hawaiian jungles to hold me without breaking and me falling hundreds of feet. So for safety purposes, I'm forced to swing thru #Jumanjj on wires strong enough to hold 12 adult buffaloes and 1 adult Rock. #OnSet #Jumanji #IronicallyIEatBuffaloDailyForLunch #MoreManThanNatureKnowsWhatToDoWith
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10. hey ma! 🎎#wcw 💙
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11. Surprise visit to our factories!!! #GoodAmerican #USA
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13. Peachy Keen 🔥✨⚡️
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14. If this don't look thankful I don't know what does. Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours. #UltraBlessed #24kMagic #SweetPotatoFly
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15. Late nights @nbcmarlon with the writers... we in here!!!
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16. There goes my baaaaaaaaabbbbyyyyy #QueenKingMagic!!! We're up to something! Ira BIG!!! Stay out our buisness -
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17. You want to win every game you play but when you come home to these faces... who cares. #ILoveYouGirls best part of my day, everyday!
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18. Steady,steady..... full size jenga.. "I got this one "???? Or do I ?
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19. Cornrows kind of day 😉@dontaysavoy2 you convinced me and I love. ❤️️
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20. #BrotherlyLove #tbt
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22. #basel #TeamLOVE @kingcombs
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23. Just introduced a special screening of @directher 's groundbreaking (must see) documentary @13thfilm with my brother @themichaelealy | @unitedblackout #blackoutblackfriday
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24. Me & Vanessa Williams giving #DuckLips #Pose on the set of #DaytimeDivas @vh1 - Coming Soon to a tv near you. Lol. - My make up done by @makeupsurgeon
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25. This picture just makes me wanna praise the Lord, you hear me!!!!!! Yes Lord brotha #TEDDYCAMPBELL What a #man !!! You are everything right on this picture husband ......... #gorgeous #stylish #classy #strong #masculine #king #sexy #debonair #gentlemenstyle And that #bible in your hand just seals the deal for me (probably cause i know that, that is what helped you become just as amazing as you look😘). While my heart and mind experiences the goodness of God at #church on Sundays, my eyes experiences the goodness of Teddy😍. Amen somebody🙌🏽. "Bless the Lord oh my soul and all that is within me bless his holy name" #myman #myhusband #goodman #blackman #dapperman #godlyman #goodfather #mybestfriend
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26. Yesterday was my mama's 53rd birthday!!!!! Got to celebrate with her all day. If this is what I have to look forward to I can't wait. Looking like a soft bucket a cocoa butter. Yaaaaaaaaaas! 😍😍😍 love you mommy!
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27. "Shout out to @PureAtlanta for getting the family right"....I'm loving this jogger. 😍😍
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28. This pic warms my heart ❤️ #myLogiebeans and aunt aunt umba @itowandabraxton 😘
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29. You will always be my baby😜. #HappyBirthdayReginae #mybaby18
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30. GC "Gods Child" Red on Red SweatSuit available now at www.MonicaApparel.com ... Take Your Crown wherever you go!! I'm pictured in a Medium... Go to the site now for other options ... cc: @trukernell
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