SPRINGFIELD - Nearly 40 names were submitted to the Illinois Republican Party's State Central Committee as potential candidates for the party's appointed interim chairman, the co-chairman of the selection committee told her district's county chairman via email last week.
Deb Detmers, who represents the 12th CD on the SCC, reported that along National Committeeman Rich Williamson and 6th CD Committeeman Gene Dawson, she reached out to all 39 suggested names. The three divided up names, and asked each person if he or she would be interested in being the IL GOP party chairman. After eight agreed to submit a resume review, one dropped out before the June 1st meeting.
Last Saturday in Springfield, seven persons gave short introductory speeches and answered questions publicly. After the initial review, SCC adjourned into Executive Session and selected Springfield lobbyist and fellow longtime SCC member Jack Dorgan of Rosemont.
"Each [candidate] offered a unique view of the party and offered strengths that will ultimately benefit the party,' she said. "These interviews were serious and very helpful. During these interviews each candidate was asked if they will support the party platform. Each candidate indicated they would support the platform."
Detmers explained how she arrived at her vote in favor of Dorgan.
"Ultimately, this came down to a decision on my part as to which candidate has the background and the skills to hit the ground running. That candidate was clearly Jack Dorgan," she wrote. "Chairman Dorgan has a 30, 60 and 90 day plan for the party. In his own words, he described himself as a mechanic. Make no doubt about it, the State Party is in need of a mechanic. I think this is evident as 13 of the 18 members of the State Central Committee voted for Jack Dorgan."
But, Detmers acknowledged, her pick may not have been wholly supported by the county chairmen she was writing.
"I realize that you may not agree with this decision, or have questions in regard to this decision, but I am urging you to give the new Chairman a chance," she wrote.
Dorgan plans to visit Southern Illinois county chairmen with Detmers, who is Congressman John Shimkus district director, hosting.
Detmers urged the county chairmen to forward her report to all those on their email lists, and specifically asked the media not be included.