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 (10/15-10/21)
31 photos Launch gallery
1. Just a NY girl with BIG dreams....
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2. HAPPY CHILDREN=QUALITY PARENTING. We don't always see eye to eye on everything and that's normal. We're human beings. But we come together and do it right for what's important, the kids. We are not enemies, we are parents. And we are parents 1st. S/O to @monyettashaw for making Mason's bday memorable. S/O to @itscrystalsmith at home taking care of our other lil' Prince. ❤️❤️❤️ THIS IS WHAT CO-PARENTING LOOKS LIKE. #Blessed #Happy #AboveTheDrama #BiggerThanUs
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3. So happy to finally be able to share with you all that I’m the new Global Brand Ambassador for @Revlon! Follow my day on RevlonSnaps. Yay! Choose Love, Everybody! #RevlonXCiara #chooselove #ad
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4. Glam on point!!!@makeupbymotoko & @shaylinjoneshair #easybreezy @lifetimetv #beachesmovie #january2017 😘
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5. ✨True love ✨📸: @jessiemarrerophotography
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7. Today was not easy..but by the grace of God we all got through it. Words cannot express our gratitude for all of your Prayers, Positive thoughts and Support for us throughout the years. Tommy will be missed but most certainly never forgotten...And PLEASE don't ask "Where's Martin?.." he was there too...just not in this picture. Lol! God bless you all.. #LoveConquersAll #MartinShow
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9. West coast get ready for #RockyHorror. I will be live tweeting again. #letsdothetimewarpagain
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10. #THEKEYS pre order yours now ... Available everywhere #NOV22 #WeTheBest 🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑🔑
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11. We about to ROCK at #KCABlackBall!! All for our life-changing effort to end 🌎 AIDS.
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12. Today's #SNAPJACK is brought to you by @yazzthegreatest 😂😂😂💋💋💋
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13. Damn girl you kinda old to be headed to the Go Go. You coming in at the age they leaving. LMAO
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14. Daddy daycare B-Boxin with @acewellstucker @shopraisingace
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15. #FBF Naviyd & URV "LIL MONSTERS"
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16. HAPPY BIRTHDAY TO ONE OF THE BIGGEST LEGENDS IN OUR HIPHOP HISTORY! @snoopdogg CONTINUED BLESSING AND LOVE FAMILY!!!!! REAL OG!
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17. Thank you for a beautiful night VSU! Let's do it again! #HOMECOMING
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18. Had a great time this morning with my familia Erica, Griff & Truth!!
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19. Check out my interview on @essence facebook live. #inmyownwords #nycpromo #day2
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20. #She💋 #tbt #TheCoveAtTheAtlantis #DawgPawsAndAll
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21. Bae #retailtherapy
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22. Why me and @coryhardrict got the same pose... and notee... new mouth #naked
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23. When my husband is my personal 'hype-man'! it kills me every time! 💜😂 #WHATNOW #lostfiles📷
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24. Diggy Simmons
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25. Hand full of @jacquieaiche 💙💎💍 @esnail_la 💅🏾
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26. SuperSoulers! You can watch my interview with Carl Lentz live from my Facebook page, tomorrow at 11a ET| 8a PT. #SuperSoulSunday
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27. 💋 .. When the friendship is easy like Sunday morning. ☀️
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28. Sunday mornings are the best........... hugs and cuddles with my angel
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29. #huggar16 #hellohuggars
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30. My gym is everywhere!.. #RnBMoney #TheGeneral 📸: @twelvepastseven
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31. Nothing I would rather be doing... Rocko setting up our movie, Romelō working on a puzzle & Laiyah singing and sharing all she's learning at school... I'm so grateful for the joy they've brought into my life ... Praying for peace , joy & love in the home of EVERY family ♥️ #HeadScarfPJSunday LOL 😂
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