CHICAGO - When Cook County voters go to the polls in November, there will be no Republican options on the ballot for Cook County Board President, county clerk, county treasurer nor county assessor, Cook County GOP Chairman Aaron Del Mar confirmed Tuesday.
Republicans in the state's most populated county failed to gather the needed 5400 petition signatures to put the party's slated candidates Tondalaya Marie Nelson on the ballot for county clerk, Antonio D. Mannings for county treasurer and Robert Foss for assessor. Sunday was the deadline for signature gathering.
"The Democrats in Cook County County have grown complacent, thinking they own our county," Del Mar wrote in an email May 12th, asking for help in getting signatures. "We have three candidates who have stepped up to take on the Democrat machine. They need our help to get on the ballot!"
Tuesday, Del Mar wrote, "After consulting the Chicago GOP chairman and the state chairman, the decision was made not to move forward," and followed up with another email which said, "The final and only decision maker in this process was me. I stand by my final decision not to move forward with the slating."
That decision disappointed Tondalaya Marie Nelson, who told Illinois Review she's just not sure what happened.
"I know I turned in 1000 signatures myself, and when I was at the Chicago GOP's office Sunday, committeemen were bringing in petitions," she said. "I am disappointed I won't be on the November ballot."
Nelson said that she was originally drafted to run for state representative, but when she was asked to run for county office, she accepted. Now she wont' be running for either office.
"I'm discouraged about what happened, but I'm not walking away from politics. I'm considering a bid for city alderman and hopefully committeeman for the 16th Ward," she said.
Del Mar, who faced a stiff challenge for his chairmanship in March, was heavily backed by gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner. Rauner staffers made calls to township and ward committeemen on Del Mar's behalf. Del Mar beat Chicago GOP vice-president Chris Cleveland for the chairmanship slot in March.
The IL GOP said Cook County Commissioner and new IL GOP party chairman Tim Schneider wasn't available for comment.