Illinois Republican chairman search down to nine

Illinois Republican leaders identified nine finalists Monday to replace Pat Brady as state GOP chairman, including several contenders who have been defeated in past elections.

The list could be narrowed even further when the 19-member state central committee conducts a Wednesday conference call to discuss the next steps to install a new chairman.

Brady quit his post last week amid complaints that his support for pending same-sex marriage legislation in Illinois ran counter to a state Republican platform plank that stated that marriage should be between one man and one woman.

Perhaps the most outspoken contender for the chairman’s job is controversial former one-term U.S. Rep. Joe Walsh, who now is a talk show host on WIND AM-560. Walsh was defeated in a bid for re-election by Democratic U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth.

Also on the list is Jim Nalepa of Hinsdale, a corporate head hunter, who was an unsuccessful congressional candidate in the 1990s and failed in a previous bid to win the GOP chairmanship.

Attorney Don Tracy of Springfield also is on the list. Tracy, the brother in law of state Rep. Jil Tracy of Mount Sterling, was an unsuccessful candidate for the GOP lieutenant governor nomination in 2010.

The lone woman in the field of contenders is Lori Yokoyama, a Chicago attorney and the GOP’s unsuccessful 2012 candidate for Cook County state’s attorney.

Others on the list include three GOP state central committee members: Mark Shaw of Lake Forest, Angel Garcia of Chicago and Jack Dorgan of Rosemont.

In addition, the list includes Tim Schneider, a Cook County Board member from Bartlett, and state Rep. Ron Sandack of Downers Grove. Sandack, formerly the town’s mayor, is among two House Republicans who have endorsed same-sex marriage.

All nine contenders have been asked to submit their resume to the GOP State Central Committee to be vetted, according to an internal e-mail circulated among Republican leaders.

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