Kane County Republicans elected Tom Hartwell as their new party chairman Wednesday night, the third person to hold the gavel in as many conventions for the local GOP organization.
Republicans selected Hartwell through a voting process that lasted more than two hours in a meeting closed to the media in Sugar Grove. Hartwell is a former Kane County Board member and is now the Kane County Circuit Court clerk.
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In a letter to fellow Republicans, Hartwell expressed a desire to end a recent history of warring factions in the party. Republicans elected outgoing Chairman Barb Wojnicki two years ago in a coup to unseat former Chairman Mike Kenyon that surprised many precinct committeemen who came to cast their votes.
Hartwell said in his letter that the time for such behavior is over.
"For too long, too much of our energy here in Kane County has been focused inward on our differences, both personal and philosophical, and not on our real task -- taking our state and country back with the help of Republicans, independents and even Democrats who share our common values of limited government and fiscal responsibility," Hartwell wrote. "It's time now for Kane County Republicans to put political infighting aside. We must get down to business and start knocking on doors, putting up signs, raising money and helping our candidates win."
Joining Hartwell in a leadership role is Connie von Keudell as secretary. She's a fire district trustee in Hampshire who has served as chairman of the women's committee and vice chairman of the Western Township Republican organization. Kane County Auditor Terry Hunt is the party's new treasurer.
Wojnicki was still in the closed convention meeting and unavailable for comment Wednesday night.