|Aaron Del Mar & Friends|
As his final move as Cook County GOP chairman, Aaron Del Mar of Palatine fired more than a dozen committeemen who have voted in a Democratic primary during the previous eight years.
"No one's even heard of them. No one's even seen them," Del Mar said of the 13 committeemen, all from Chicago. He says the move was an attempt to combat issues the party has had in past years with election judges, where Democrats have filled Republican judges spots in heavily Democratic wards.
Del Mar was able to execute this maneuver through amendments to the party bylaws adopted earlier in the year at his request, a move his successor, Sean Morrison of Palos Park, also said he supported. Some committeemen, however, questioned the legality of the decision.
Off duty police officers ultimately removed some committeemen who protested the move, as well as some of their supporters, before the county meeting began.
The county party's plan is to replace those committeemen with Republican candidates for state representative and state Senate by the end of May. Committeemen, who aren't paid, have duties including helping out with elections and promoting the party's candidates.
Del Mar, who said he decided not to seek re-election due to the needs of his growing family, was succeeded by Morrison, a businessman in a unanimous vote. Committeeman Marc Levine is also expected to have a more visible leadership role within the party due to close ties to the governor, whose Winnetka home is in New Trier township, which Levine represents.