Sig Vaznelis chosen as new Cook County GOP Chair

By DOUG IBENDAHL •  September 15, 2011 

 

Lemont GOP Township Committeeman Sig Vaznelis became the new Chairman of the Cook County Republican Party this evening at a meeting in Chicago. He replaces Lee Roupas who finally resigned after a failed tenure.

 

The special meeting of the Cook County Republican Party Central Committee was held this evening at the Parthenon Restaurant in Chicago’s Greektown neighborhood. Fifty GOP Chicago Ward Committeemen and thirty GOP Township Committeemen comprise the County Central Committee.

 

In tonight’s vote, Wheeling GOP Township Committeeman Ruth O’Connell was soundly defeated by Vaznelis.

 

O’Connell remains an opponent of legislation (SB35) that would give every Republican primary voter the right to directly elect the members of our State Party’s Central Committee. Vaznelis supports the pro-grassroots reform.

 

For what it’s worth, I spoke with both candidates in recent days. In my opinion, Vaznelis was the clear choice. He’s an accomplished private sector professional, and I’m hopeful that county Republicans will now have the kind of serious, mature leadership we lacked under the 20-something Roupas. In fact I was so unimpressed by O’Connell’s lack of knowledge about our party and its structure, I encouraged her to withdraw her name from the race for the good of the party. O’Connell may be an okay Township Committeeman, and that’s great, but the County Chairman post is a different job, requiring different skills. GOP Chairman is especially crucial in Cook, a county with more voters than some states, and the county in Illinois where Republicans have the most work to do.

 

But all’s well that ends well.

 

Vaznelis will serve out the remainder of Roupas’ two-year term which ends in April of 2012.

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