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Tracy Resigns as State GOP Chairman

Don Tracy, Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party, announced his resignation this week.


In a letter, Tracy cited intra-party power struggles as one reason for his resignation. Tracy says, "When I took on this full-time volunteer job in February 2021, I thought I would be spending most of my time-fighting Democrats, helping elect Republicans, raising money to pay for more Party infrastructure, and advocating for Party unity. Unfortunately, however, I have had to spend far too much time dealing with intra-party power struggles and local intra-party animosities that continued after primaries and County Chair elections."


Tracy's resignation is effective upon the election of his successor preferably no later than July 19, 2024.





Full Resignation Letter


For almost 3 1/2 years, I have had the honor of Chairing the Illinois Republican Party, and enjoyment of working closely with the great majority of you to rebuild the Illinois Republican Party. In that time, we have doubled State Party operational capabilities by better fundraising and building a bigger team through among other things activation of several new and old SCC Committees such as the Finance Committee and Election Integrity Committee.


When I took on this full-time volunteer job in February 2021, I thought I would be spending most of my time fighting Democrats, helping elect Republicans, raising money to pay for more Party infrastructure, and advocating for Party unity. Unfortunately, however, I have had to spend far too much time dealing with intraparty power struggles and local intraparty animosities that continued after primaries and County Chair elections.


In better days, Illinois Republicans came together after tough intra party elections. Now however, we have Republicans who would rather fight other Republicans than engage in the harder work of defeating incumbent Democrats by convincing swing voters to vote Republican.


Like Vince Kolber, my friend and former Finance Committee Chair, I am also concerned about the current infatuation of some members of the SCC, few as they are, with certain individuals they call “grass roots” leaders. Recent events including the RNC Committeeman election, immediately followed by the retribution sacking of the losing candidate Vice-Chair Mark Shaw, a long time State Party leader and worker, without due process and without taking any step to disciplining others for alleged or admitted Convention misconduct, portends a direction of the State Party I am not comfortable with.

Accordingly, I hereby resign as Chair of the Illinois Republican Party effective upon the election of my successor preferably no later than July 19, 2024 at 5pm. Like Vince, I will continue to personally support many of our great Republican state, local and federal candidates, and our many great Republican County Chairs and other positive and productive Republican leaders.


I hereby appoint Jan Weber as Chair of a Search Committee and empower her to add two other members to that Committee as she sees fit.


PS My resignation has nothing to do with today’s anonymously sourced Chicago Tribue article. I made my decision to resign early yesterday morning, communicated it to Matt Janes before our 10am staff call yesterday, and began drafting this notice yesterday shortly before or after the staff call. Also, no one from the Tribune called me about this article, which I did not learn of until this morning. And, I do not believe any SCC member talked to the Tribune about the article.

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