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With Paul McKinley surging up the Illinois conservative ranks–after the mainstream Chicago media’s attempts to reconvict him for his past backfired–the only question remaining is: where is the Illinois Republican Party?

Not only was the Illinois Republican Party missing in action during the primary in the special election to replace Jesse Jackson, Jr., but it has also been conspicuously silent even with conservative Paul McKinley now declared the official nominee (not even listed on the IL GOP’s Candidates’ page).

McKinley, who has already made the election a historic one after surging to a primary win with support from all of the diverse communities across the district–urban, suburban, and rural–has been on the stump touting small government, pro-life family values, traditional marriage, respect for the Constitution, and an end to the ugly Democrat Machine rule of Chicago that is “destroying” his community.

And yet, the Illinois Republican Party has not uttered a word, according to McKinley. It has never contacted the campaign (nor has national), and in fact stood by while someone claiming to be a “player” in the party, Chris Robling, trashed McKinley on local TV, calling him “not a real Republican.”

This is the same “insider” who has said, “Valerie Jarrett would make an outstanding United States Senator.” Could it be that, as many Illinois conservatives have been claiming in recent years, the Illinois Republican Party has lost its way–or worse?

Illinois GOP Chairman Pat Brady, who recently outraged Illinois Republican voters after his over-the-top stand for same-sex marriage, has more than once slammed the door in Republican Paul McKinley and his fellow primary running-mates’ faces.

First, when Fox Chicago’s Darlene Hill and Mike Flannery stated that the Republican Party does not appeal to minorities, Brady neglected to mention that at the time of the interview, there were five black Republicans on the ballot in the 2nd district primary. In fact, he used the opportunity to slam conservative values as the reason for women and minorities “running from the party” and pushed for legalizing same-sex marriage.

Then, after McKinley won, Brady had “no comment” when asked by the Chicago Tribune about the victory.

In so doing, Brady not only turned his back on McKinley and the other African Americans running in the 2nd District primary, but also the Republican voters of the 2nd district who chose McKinley, proving his utter incompetence as a leader for Illinois conservatives. His posture throughout the race–and that of the Republican Party establishment–has been to ignore, dismiss, and demean McKinley and his conservative message.

Given that national Republican leaders are calling for minority outreach, the Illinois Republican Party leader has chosen an odd time to go missing, and is revealing how shallow the leadership, and structure of the Illinois Republican Party is.

The Illinois 2nd district is composed of urban middle and low-income communities, as well as a range of different suburban communities. It stretches all the way south into black and white rural farming communities. McKinley was able to rise above his past as an ex-offender, openly campaigning as such, and garner support in a way many conservatives have always hoped their message would. For the first time, a different type of hope is being offered to these corners of Chicago long abandoned by the Republican Party.

The response from Illinois’ Republican establishment: silence. Not a word. Sadly what all of the Illinois Republican Party–and the national GOP, which has given an equal cold shoulder to the McKinley campaign–is missing out on is the very candidate they need most.

The grassroots understands: they are the ones supporting McKinley–donating, according to his campaign, from all corners of the country, as far away as Hawaii. They have seen McKinley as a candidate who, in a very short special election, has proven to be the biggest fighter, and the biggest threat
to the Chicago Machine and Illinois Combine, the state has seen in many years.

His message against “The Machine,” which he often delivers via his popular campaign YouTube channel, is resonating with voters of all kinds, as the party hacks of Illinois are too busy worrying about who gets to control their next great loss in a governor’s race over a year away.

Interesting however, is that McKinley told Breitbart News the Illinois Republican Party’s lack of support for his candidacy “is for the better.” In fact McKinley said, “I have never asked them for any help, we ran this campaign ourselves, without the established ruling class in Illinois and proved that we know how to win.”

“I am a Republican,” McKinley said, “but I can’t afford to be connected with a group of people who Illinois’ conservatives from the south-end of the 2nd district to my community in the south side Chicago can’t trust. And by their behavior in this election, we can now say for sure, the Illinois Republican establishment is part of The Machine.”

McKinley also added, “I believe endorsements from groups like Operation Black Storm, whose stated goal is helping qualified conservative candidates, which we received this week, and the huge support we continue to receive from the grassroots, will go much farther for us in long run.”

Meanwhile, in a district that has gone unrepresented for a year, and before that, represented by a tax-cheating, scamming crook, the Democrats are sitting back and coasting on cruise control.

Democrat nominee, anti-gun extremist and ethically troubled Robin Kelly, who dominated the Democrat primary thanks to Mayor Bloomberg’s $2.3 million, is sitting back doing nothing, laughing as the Republicans bend over for her and bow down to King Bloomberg.

But what none of them is watching is one of the most interesting races in Illinois’ history develop in front of their own eyes.

An opportunity that is only possible in a special election such as this one: a lazily campaigning Democrat, an awakened populace tired of being trampled on, an enthralling candidate, and an energized grassroots making history by coming together across racial and economic barriers to support McKinley, a convicted felon who has turned his life around and is trying to save his community. Is it any wonder, as McKinley says, “The Machine is panicking?”The Illinois Republican Party did not respond for comment.

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