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posted: 4/19/2014 8:00 AM

New Lake County GOP leader wants unity

Amrozowicz sees no point in writing off social moderates

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  • New Lake County Republican Party Chairman Mike Amrozowicz said he wants to bring "a unity of purpose" to the local GOP organization.

       New Lake County Republican Party Chairman Mike Amrozowicz said he wants to bring "a unity of purpose" to the local GOP organization.
    George LeClaire | Staff Photographer

 
 

The newest leader of Lake County's Republican Party calls himself a conservative.

But unlike those conservatives who dismiss anyone with views even slightly different from theirs, Mike Amrozowicz isn't about to write off socially moderate members of the GOP as "Republicans In Name Only."

Which option is better for the GOP, Amrozowicz asked rhetorically -- the election of a Republican with whom you agree 60 percent of the time or a Democrat with whom you never agree?

"I think it's foolish," Amrozowicz said of the all-or-nothing attitude. "It's really simple math."

Amrozowicz, a 54-year-old Navy veteran from Gurnee, was elected chairman of the county GOP during a party convention Wednesday. The former head of Warren Township's Republican organization has never held elected office.

Amrozowicz replaced Wauconda's Bob Cook as head of the county GOP.

Cook was criticized by some local Republicans for getting involved in the primary battle between state Rep. Ed Sullivan of Mundelein and challenger Bob Bednar. Sullivan won the March primary handily, but only after Bednar repeatedly accused the veteran lawmaker of being a liberal -- something Sullivan denied.

Amrozowicz said he wants to bring "a unity of purpose" to the county Republican organization. He also insisted he'd never endorse a candidate in a Republican primary showdown.

"The chairman is not a dragon slayer and he's not a kingmaker," said Amrozowicz, who works as a financial adviser.

Larry Falbe, president of the Lake County Republican Federation fundraising group, appreciates Amrozowicz's philosophy. "Mike recognizes that while Republicans have their differences, there is far more that unites us than separates us," Falbe said.

Looking ahead to the November general election, Amrozowicz pointed to the gubernatorial race and the showdown for the 10th Congressional District as the two most important races for Lake County voters.

Not surprisingly, he voiced support for Republican candidate Bruce Rauner in the governor's race against Democratic incumbent Pat Quinn.

"We need somebody who can run this state as a business, and nobody can do it better than Bruce Rauner," he said.

In the 10th House District, Amrozowicz said it's "incredibly important" for Republican Robert Dold to reclaim the seat from Democrat Brad Schneider, who won in 2012.

Dold was leading two years ago until ballots that were cast by people who voted early were counted. They put Schneider on top.

Amrozowicz plans to meet with local GOP leaders to develop a plan to improve GOP turnout during the early-voting period.

"That is going to be a priority, starting now," he said.

As for key political issues, Amrozowicz spoke of the need to right Illinois' fiscal ship.

"Look at the mess we have here," he said. "We've got to turn this around for the younger generation."

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