CHICAGO - Despite the theme currently resounding on Chicago and Springfield airwaves, black conservative Republicans from Illinois have run for office often - they've just never won.
None were enthusiastically backed by the IL GOP, because the IL GOP has limited resources, and what they accumulate is used most often to protect threatened GOP incumbents at the Congressional, rather than the state levels.
But the fact is, there is a notable list of black conservatives that have run for public office as Republicans over the years in Illinois.
In 2006, Dr. Eric Wallace, endorsed by the United Republican Fund as one of their "6 in '06" candidates, ran for state Senate against south suburban Democrat Maggie Crotty. In 2008, Wallace bid to be a delegate for presidential candidate Fred Thompson and in 2012, he ran to be a delegate for presidential candidate Rick Santorum.
In 2010, GOP conservative Rev. Isaac Hayes challenged 2nd CD Congressman Jesse Jackson Jr the same year education activist and Tea Party favorite Cedra Crenshaw challenged Democrat state Senator AJ Wilhelm in Joliet.
In 2012, former Miss America Erika Harold competed for the appointment to fill the recently-retired Republican Congressman Tim Johnson's 13th CD seat. In 2012, Monee's George Pearson ran for presidential delegate for Rick Santorum. He is now a Monee trustee.
In Spring 2013, Chicago community organizer Paul McKinley beat fellow black conservatives Dr. Eric Wallace, Lenny McAllister and Beverly Reid for the Republican bid to fill ousted Congressman Jesse Jackson's seat.
While this list in not exhaustive, it does demonstrate an open door for black conservative Republicans. Indeed the state party was not helpful to these candidates, but over the last decade the IL GOP's power has dwindled as it has served more as a clearing house for Congressional candidate funds and a mailing conduit for state candidates campaigns than it has functioned as an funds provider or an volunteer organizer.