Run, recruit, or don’t complain

By DOUG IBENDAHL • November 17, 2011


Close-of-business Monday, December 5 is the deadline for filing candidate petitions in Illinois. That’s plenty of time to get on the ballot for Republican Precinct Committeeman (or Republican Ward Committeeman in Chicago).


It’s up to regular Republicans like you to get the Illinois Republican Party on track. Our State GOP Chairman Pat Brady isn’t helping recruit and is no doubt miffed he didn’t sell many fake votes in his recent little straw poll. Members of the State Central Committee are also nowhere to be found. And I sense House Minority Leader Tom Cross is tied up right now trying to abandon pension reform as completely as he abandoned Rick Perry earlier this week.


There’s no leadership out there, zero, zilch, none, nada. Illinois is so far off the radar screen in the presidential race that candidates zip in to Chicago, collect their checks, and zip out. They don’t even bother talking to the press in one of the largest media markets in the country. Our state is just an ATM.


The Illinois GOP needs new blood from top to bottom – literally thousands of fresh leaders. Republican Precinct Committeeman (or Republican Ward Committeeman in Chicago) is the perfect place to start.


The Republican Precinct Project ( pulls back the curtain and provides the information and forms you need. We all have to step-up because the old GOP leadership isn’t serious about getting the job done in Illinois.


We’ve already heard from dedicated Republicans in several counties who are visiting their County Clerk’s office, purchasing a list of the county’s registered voters (typically just a few dollars), and then calling-up “Hard Rs” as part of their recruitment drive. This is smart politics as folks with an established and consistent history of pulling Republican ballots in Primaries are natural potential candidates for Republican Precinct Committeeman.


Work, church, family, friends, and civic and charitable groups are other obvious fertile grounds for recruitment.


Becoming a committeeman gives you a seat at the GOP table. While strictly volunteer, it’s a crucial job. Committeemen also represent the GOP’s farm team. From these ranks come the next candidates for county board, state house, state senate, school board, congress, and governor.


You’ll find more information on running for Republican Precinct Committeeman including links to the required forms HERE.


The rules and the forms are the same for 101 Illinois counties. That’s every one except for Cook County. No political party elects Precinct Committeemen in Cook which has a unique legal structure. However, the analogous position of Republican Ward Committeeman is available right now. All 50 of those Republican positions in Chicago are also up for election in the March 20 Primary. You’ll find more information on running for Republican Ward Committeeman in Chicago HERE. (Note the petition form and signature requirements differ a little from Precinct Committeeman, but the basic job of building the GOP and representing Republicans in your area is the same.)


If you ever have any questions about any of this, don’t hesitate to contact me at (312) 648-0061 or at


Finally, even if you aren’t running for office this year, you can still help. Your financial contribution to the Republican Precinct Project will help us get the boots on the ground necessary to counter Barack Obama and his Democrat pals in Illinois. You can contribute online or by mail HERE.



Paid for by the Republican Precinct Project. A copy of our report filed with the State Board of Elections is (or will be) available on the Board’s official website ( or for purchase from the State Board of Elections, Springfield, Illinois.


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