I began thinking about this when there were two candidates for the DuPage County GOP Chairmanship. On Wednesday, April 18th, elected precinct committeemen will be chosing the new chair, highly likely to be Darlene Ruscitti. Because this world is full of surprises, I will continue with my original intent of addressing my letter to the yet to be named winner.
Dear New DuPage County GOP Chair,
Congratulations on your selection as the new head of our county Republican Party. I for one, am looking forward to the initiatives you will bring forth to strengthen our county party and help resuscitate our state Republican Party. The past few chairs have sought this position to pad their resumes as they aspired to higher office. I trust that you ran for chair because you want THIS job. You are to be commended for that.
I am writing to you to reinforce your knowledge of the challenges and opportunity you have in leading us forward. DuPage County has a reputation of being a “red” county. It has been solidly Republican for as long as anyone can remember. Recent performance would show that perception is in danger. Voter turnout for these primary elections was poor to say the least. With all that is wrong with our state and country, one would think that Republican voter turnout would be much higher than 20 percent. In 2010, the year of the Tea Party Revolution, we had more voters for Democrats Jesse White and Lisa Madigan than we did for Bill Brady who ran for governor. In 2008 DuPage County voted in favor of President Barack Obama, Senator Dick Durbin, and Representative Bill Foster. That trend needs to be reversed.
Cook County is continuing to move west. It is no secret that Cook County residents come to DuPage County for the higher quality of life. Heck, that’s what I did in 1997. Unfortunately, many of these residents fail to realize that the reason the quality of life is better than what they left is Republican Party principles. They vote Democrat just like they did when they gave the City of Chicago and most of Cook County over to the Democrats. They failed to realize the Daley’s, Stroger’s, Madigan’s, Quinn’s and Blagojevich’s didn’t do a single thing to make their lives better. Instead they fled, and didn’t make the correlation. As a party we have not done enough to get that message across. That is one of the challenges/opportunities that you have. DuPage has been the case study for the results of Republican Party policies. We need to make that case over and over again.
I say this because we are at a crossroads. More than DuPage County is at stake. It is frightening that Democrats have been able to make the gains they have without a strong, organized county Democratic Party organization. They are now poised and bold enough to try for more. For years DuPage County has been the anchor for the opposition to Cook County Democrats and their attempts to rule the state of Illinois. As you know, in recent years, that has not been enough. The Chicago Machine not only rules Chicago, but also Springfield, and even Washington D.C. The impact on Illinois has been especially destructive. Illinois is now in the bottom three of virtually every quality of life metric there is. If DuPage County becomes more blue, or God forbid, a Democratic County…Illinois will not be able to make its way back.
I welcome you as our new party chair. Now please tell me where I need to go and what I need to do. We have work that needs to be done!