"In a surprise move, Andy McKenna stepped down this morning as
chairman of the Illinois
Republican Party, adding more intrigue and
potential infighting to a political organization that has been beset by
strife for years," the Tribune's Clout Street reported. "Pat Brady of St. Charles, the Republican National Committeeman for
Illinois, was quickly chosen by the GOP state central committee
to replace McKenna until March, when the chairman's term expires."
McKenna's four-year term may go down as the most ineffective ever. Republicans now control, well, nothing. The governor, all state constitutional officers elected statewide, both houses of the Legislature, both U.S. senators, and most congressmen from Illinois are Democrats. Adding insult to injury, Illinois produced a Democratic president.
No one unifying GOP candidate for any officer is one the horizon. The party remains badly split between "country club Republicans" and "die-hard" conservatives; between social and fiscal conservatives, and serious questions remain about the viability of a party that often is too willing to give up its principles in order to join Democrats in lucrative government contracts and deals.
I don't have the answer about how to unify Republicans to present a reliable challenge to the worst governed state in memory. If there ever was a chance to throw the bums out, this is it. But the GOP needs to shape up if that's to happen