SPRINGFIELD — The embattled chief of the Illinois Republican Party has formed a panel aimed at analyzing the GOP failures in November in hopes of charting a course for improvement in 2014.
Pat Brady, who is the subject of a recall effort by some party leaders and a few county-level party organizations after he spoke in favor of same-sex marriage, said the new Growth and Opportunity Committee could help lay the foundation for a Republican gubernatorial win in two years.
“The Illinois Republican Party, the Party of Abraham Lincoln, is at a critical point in its history,” Brady notes in a letter he issued Wednesday. “The unfortunate reality is, that Illinois is run by Chicago Democrats who have brought our state to the brink of financial collapse.“
The formation of the committee is just the latest sign of Republican soul-searching in the wake of losses in the November 2012 election. Democrats won super-majorities in the General Assembly and bested their GOP counterparts in a number of hotly contested congressional races.
In the aftermath, some Republicans announced their support for allowing illegal immigrants to have driver’s licenses — a nod to the need to reach out to Hispanic voters.
Brady announced his support for a gay marriage proposal that was moving through the General Assembly and was quickly criticized by conservative members of the party.
This month, the McLean County Republican Party central committee and the Williamson County Republican Party central committee called on Brady to step down.
On Thursday, the (Arlington Heights) Daily Herald reported that Sen. Jim Oberweis, R-Sugar Grove, was lobbying his colleagues on the state central committee to call a meeting aimed at ousting Brady.
The new committee will be chaired by Stark County GOP chairman Mike Bigger. Brady wants a report in mid-April.