Congratulations to Sig Vaznelis, New Cook County GOP Chairman

-By Warner Todd Huston

Cook County Republicans have a new chairman. Lemont Township Highway Commissioner Sigitas “Sig” Vaznelis was elected by Cook County’s Republican committeemen to become the newest party chairman Thursday night.

Former Cook County GOP Chairman Lee Roupas stepped down late last month to become the DuPage County assistant state’s attorney leaving the seat open. The election was held at the Parthenon restaurant in Chicago’s Greektown.

We discussed the Cook Chairman race a few weeks ago and in the intervening time a few of the possible candidates dropped out leaving only Vaznelis, Aaron Del Mar, and one-time favorite for the seat Ruth O’Connell of Wheeling Township.

Del Mar also dropped out at the last second and endorsed Vaznelis making it a two-person race.

Reported vote tallies of the weighted votes showed Vaznelis with 85,221 votes to O’Connell’s 66,298.

This result might be a bit surprising because O’Connell had built quite a reputation as a party builder. She’s done yeoman’s work building the Wheeling Township GOP organization. But Vaznelis lined up a lot of support from committeemen among the south suburbs and Chicago.

While disappointed, O’Connell pledged to throw her support behind Vaznelis going forward.

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