In a move that caught some DuPage County GOP foot soldiers by surprise, Chairman Dan Cronin resigned as Republican Party leader late Monday.
The party’s executive committee, which consists of nine township political leaders, unanimously voted in state Rep. Randy Ramey as his successor.
Kirk Dillard relinquished the post nearly four years ago.
Cronin’s message focused on the rebirth of the Republican Party, but some rank-and-file members complained the sudden selection of his successor without their input is far from unifying.
“It was done in the dark of the night and none of the precinct committeemen were consulted,” said Laura Pollastrini, the Wayne township first vice chairperson. “It would have been nice for the party to consult the rank-and-file precinct committeemen before making such a huge decision regarding who is going to be leading our party into the 2012 elections.”
Cronin said he stepped down due to his heavy workload as DuPage County Board chairman. Gov. Pat Quinn last week also tapped Cronin to head the Elgin-O’Hare West Bypass committee.
Cronin said his decision was “fairly common knowledge” in the party for months. He said no one besides Ramey expressed an interest in the powerful, but unpaid volunteer position, but Pollastrini countered that’s because no one else was afforded the opportunity.
The county’s 720-plus GOP precinct committeemen will have a chance to vote on chairman at the party’s April 2012 convention.
Ramey, a Carol Stream Republican, is expected to step down as Wayne Township GOP chairman by Oct. 1.
The party’s vice chair, Patrick Durante of Addison Township, did not seek the top post and instead stepped down with Cronin.
DuPage gets new GOP party chairman
Dan Cronin at a December DuPage County board meeting. (Chuck Berman/Tribune)