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 (10/7-10/14)
25 photos Launch gallery
1. Nite | to the tune of @cnn 😞
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2. Got so much work to do but I just wanna stay in bed and binge watch #Gameofthrones and start the new season of #OnceUponATime. I know I can't be the only one. Right? Ha 💤🦁🍂 #saturday
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3. Mommy's weekend turn up ❤️👶🏾💕🍼 Wouldn't trade it for nothing. #TeamNoSleep lol #HesMyBiggestBlessing ✨
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4. One of them oh shit mont we made it feelings … this shit still be unreal 💯💪🏾 @remyboymonty1738
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5. Tickets Available October 14 @ticketmaster.
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6. People magazine Home edition has raided my house! Get a sneak peek into the bedroom life of the Leakes and see other parts of my home now at PEOPLE.COM
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7. They want to kick you when you down, but kick it when you up
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8. Got my advance copy of #Mafia3 at @gamestop. Get yours via link in the bio #Mafia3 #Ad
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9. This is some of the cast and our diverse team of writers in the writer's room creating funny sh*t for @nbcmarlon what a fun room! Lots of jokes, great stories and having a great time doing what we love... making people laugh and feel something. Look out for our show next year @nbcmarlon we bringing sitcoms back to NBC
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10. #HappySunday☀️Thank you @4everbrandy101 💛💡💛
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11. Happy to be back in Central Falls, RI breaking ground for the One Stop Health Center and hosting a local community event with #Vaseline.
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12. Thank you all in advance 💋💋💋 #Repost @urbansvintage・・・#TarajiPHenson's memoir #AroundTheWayGirl will be available everywhere TODAY October 11th! Will you be purchasing a copy? #UrbansVintage
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13. Moms got my back
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14. @galore dinner party glo ✨ thanks to @styledbygiigii
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15. 🌹#ThisIsWhatTheTruthFeelsLikeTOUR #forevereve
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16. Yes, all those videos I've been posting have led to this: the introduction of skincare to @TYRABeauty! This is the rundown on the new line:Years of research and beauty tips I live by led me to produce the most effective and delightful skincare out there. I'm all about taking really good care of my skin, so I can look like I'm aging in #TyraYears and go filter free on Instagram when I feel like it! Now, it's your turn. ✨My Mama always told me not to wash my face with just my hands. "Tyra, girl, you're just moving the dirt around!" And I've listened. First up is The Clean Machine.... ...a 3-in-1 foaming face wash that cleanses, removes makeup and purified your skin. It has patented technology - a attached Turbo Cleansing Tool - to give you that deep clean that makes your skin feel super fresh. Wanna know more? Yeah, baby. Click that link in my bio.
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17. On set of #beingmaryjane like... ❤️😬💃🏾
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18. #carouselofhope@yvetteshelton100@makeupbylatrice @thestacetheface@marialuciahohan24
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19. I refuse to let a little cold stop me from my daily routines to greatness. #onlythestrongsurvive #warriors
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20. Big things begin with big THINKING... #BusinessEthics #SetLife 🎥
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21. Goodnight - here's a song
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22. Words can't explain the feeling that I have right now.....God is good. look momma I made it. #Harts #Blessed #WhatNow #comedicrockstarshit #4DaysAway
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23. I tried to get a better video with out the nasty bib but she started getting mad at me..lol! Big cuz @the_queen_caitlin trying to show her what to do. #MamasToots #HeirBear👑💜
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24. Gorgeous Serena joined Beyoncé in Formation last night on stage in New Jersey!!!
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25. 😜 @lifeofdesiigner & @rockohill
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