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Barickman:  GOP Leadership Should Focus on Governor’s Race

Jason Barickman

Republican State Senator Jason Barickman of Bloomington (Sean Powers/WILL)

The lone Republican Illinois senator to vote for same-sex marriage in the state says choosing a successor to Pat Brady should be all about the state’s top office.

Bloomington Senator Jason Barickman says he hasn’t spoken with the former state GOP chairman, whose resignation was brought on by his support for same-sex marriage, as well as family reasons.  Brady's wife is battling ovarian cancer.

The same-sex marriage measure passed the Illinois Senate, and awaits a vote in the House.

Barickman said he didn’t get involved in talks over Brady’s resignation, noting there are ‘varying’ opinions within the party. 

But he said the focus now should be about turning the state around.

“For all the frustration that the public has about where we’re about with unpaid bills and financial problems, that challenge creates an opportunity for a Republican candidate to step forward as governor and communicate another message," he said.  "To me, the role of the Illinois Republican party chairman is to support those efforts first and foremost.”

Barickman didn’t endorse a specific name for party chair, but notes whatever moves party leaders make now are subject to change as soon as the primary next March, when Republicans appoint new members to the state central committee.

The Senator said party vice chair Carol Smith Donovan is taking on the role of interim party chair until a permanent successor to Brady is elected to a two-year term next spring.