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Path clears for County Commissioner Tim Schneider to lead state GOP

Cook County Board Commissioner Timothy Schneider (right) talks with Finance Committee Chairman John Daley during meeting 2011.   |

Cook County Board Commissioner Timothy Schneider (right) talks with Finance Committee Chairman John Daley during a meeting in 2011. | Sun-Times file photo

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Updated: June 15, 2014 6:47AM

It appears Cook County Commissioner Tim Schneider will take on the role to lead the Illinois Republican Party without a challenge.

Schneider’s initial challenger, Blair Garber, notified Illinois Republican gubernatorial candidate Bruce Rauner that he is pulling his name from contention, a source close to Rauner said. Garber reached out to Rauner, saying he would not oppose Schneider in what was to be an election to succeed outgoing state GOP Chairman Jack Dorgan scheduled for Saturday.

The move means a smooth transition for the Republican party in Illinois, which had been mired in contentious in-fighting not long ago.

Both Dorgan and Rauner were backing Schneider, of northwest suburban Bartlett.

“I can think of no one better to be our next chairman than Tim Schneider — a small business owner, fiscal conservative and proven reformer,” Rauner said in a statement released through the state GOP. “Tim has served at the forefront of the fight against cronyism, corruption and fiscal irresponsibility in Cook County - and I know he will be an unmatched spokesman across the state for our pro-growth, pro-reform vision for Illinois.”

Garber is state Republican committeeman from the North Side and north suburban 9th Congressional District. He is also a member of the Cook County Republican Party, serving as Evanston Township committeeman.

Dorgan, a lobbyist and Rosemont village trustee, was elected last June to replace Pat Brady, who angered a contingent of the Republican party with his vocal support for same-sex marriage.

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