John McGlasson can empathize with Bob Winchester and his ongoing fight in the 15th congressional district to get a true counting of the votes in his contentious battle with state Sen. Chapin Rose (Mahomet) for State Central Committee.
“They tried to do the same thing to me,” McGlasson said, referring to the Illinois Republican Party putting up a candidate against incumbent Winchester. “I have a lot fewer counties (14 compared to 34) than Bob has so it was easier for me to talk to the county chairmen ahead of time and make sure the vote was done according to the bylaws. I would encourage him to challenge the votes.”
McGlasson, the incumbent, won his race against state Rep. Tom Demmer (R-Dixon) in the 16th congressional district despite some counties registering 100 percent for Demmer. McGlasson said that he was convinced those counties used a vote by acclamation maneuver, a procedural move that gives a candidate 100 percent of the vote if they receive anywhere over the 50 percent mark. Winchester fell victim to the same maneuver and, according to some local GOPers, other voting shenanigans by the Illinois Republican Party. The GOP declared Rose the winner in the race, but legal action challenging the results may be in the offing.
McGlasson and Winchester earned the wrath of the Illinois GOP by supporting State Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) in her primary bid to oust Gov. Bruce Rauner as the Republican nominee. She came within a few points of doing just that.
Winchester and McGlasson, moreover, are no fans of state GOP chairman Tim Schneider.
McGlasson believes Schneider is likely to lose his post when the 18 Central Committeemen elect a state chairman on May 19.
“I know I would prefer someone else,” he said.
In LaSalle County, McGlasson, 70, took over 70 percent of the vote despite a letter, signed by state Rep. Jerry Long (R-Streator) and others, to newly elected precinct committeemen in the 16th district, questioning McGlasson’s judgment.
The Republican Party on the state level should be about giving locals the funds and tools needed to elect candidates, McGlasson said. But it has lost its way, he says; it should not be in the business of choosing candidates.
“They don’t have any principles anymore,” he said. “So now social conservatives have nowhere to go.”
The semi-retired salesman says he devotes half his time to his job and the other half to bringing principles back to the party.