Cook County Republican Central Committee will move on after losing bylaws case
Cook County Republican Central Committee leaders concede they plan to move on after a Circuit Court judge found bylaw changes affecting eligibility for office to be invalid.
“While the Court’s ruling leaves a bit to be desired, the County Party will nonetheless abide by it,” Cook County Republican Party Chairman Sean M. Morrison said in a press release. “It is now time to move forward.”
The nearly 2-year-old Graves vs. Cook County Republican Party case stems from bylaw changes that were first instituted in March 2016. In one instance, the amendment restricted membership in the county party to individuals who had demonstrated a longstanding commitment to the Republican Party. The change further mandated that “[a] vacancy shall exist in the office of Republican committeeman in any ward or township in which an elected or appointed committeeman votes, or has voted, in the primary for another political party in the previous eight years.”
During the 2016 primary, several GOP committeemen who were elected were found to have previously cast ballots in the primary of the Democratic Party over an eight-year period, moving county party officials to formally declare their seats officially vacant.
With the court’s ruling now considered binding by Chicago Board of Election Commissioners, all the committeemen who were stripped of their seats in 2016 will now be seated as members of the county party.
Even as he vowed to follow the court’s dictum, Morrison indicated that he is still plotting out his options.
“I remain steadfast in the belief that only proven, committed Republicans are qualified to serve as Republican Committeemen,” he added in the release. “To that end, I will soon propose a bylaw amendment that will require members of the County Party to have voted in the most recent two Republican Primary Elections in order to qualify to serve as a Republican Committeemen. By amending our bylaws now, well in advance of the circulation period for future committeeman elections, we will ensure that we will not waste time and resources in litigating this issue.”