A growing number of Republicans are expressing fears that the Illinois GOP's endorsement process may be “rigged” to favor Gov. Bruce Rauner.
Critics charged that at a Palatine Township Republican Organization endorsement session Tuesday, PTRO Chairman Aaron Del Mar, who was recently appointed by Rauner to serve on the Illinois International Port District Board, argued he was not required to provide members with rules for the meeting after they were requested.
"He told people tonight that if they didn’t like it they could leave,” Committeewoman Vicki Gwozdz Wilson later wrote on the group's Facebook page. “He is an absolute dictator and Republicans who believe in transparency and ethical behavior need to demand the data behind tonight."
Del Mar, who also serves as Palatine Township’s highway commissioner and is a former Cook County Republican Party chairman, endorsed Rauner during his 2014 run and, along with Cook County GOP Chairman Sean Morrison, has taken credit for putting him over the top.
During the recent PTRO meeting, Rauner secured the organization’s endorsement over Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) with 72 percent of the vote. But Wilson isn’t sure the numbers can be trusted.
"Del Mar ran a sham endorsement session on numerous levels," Wilson, an Ives supporter, added in her Facebook post. "This endorsement is completely meaningless. As the straw poll at the Christmas party and the standup vote tonight showed, the majority of Palatine Township Republicans endorse Jeanne Ives."
Schaumburg Township Republican Organization Precinct Captain Mark Cramer, a retired Navy commander, seconded Wilson’s indictment of the process.
"Del Mar destroyed all credibility of the GOP endorsement process in Cook County and calls into clear question the unethical practices of the Rauner campaign," he told Illinois Review.