Winchester received 100 percent of the vote in Hamilton County, affidavit states
Robert Winchester, incumbent and longtime Republican State Central Committeeman in the 15th Congressional District who reportedly "lost" that seat in the now-contested race in April, received 100 percent of the vote in Hamilton County, a party official in that county said in an affidavit.
The affidavit by Hamilton County Precinct Committeeman Jim Sullivan, a copy of which was obtained by the SE Illinois News, is dated May 9.
"This is to serve as my statement in summary regarding the Hamilton County Convention that I, Jim Sullivan, attended and participated in on the night of April 18th, 2018 with precinct committeemen (Trenton) Butler, Logan (Hunt) and (John R.) Chapman," Sullivan said in his scant one-page affidavit.
"It was during this reorganization and County Convention meeting that discussion and unanimous vote was cast by all precinct committeemen for Bob Winchester for State Central Committeeman for the 15th Congressional District. It was further understood that the newly elected county Chairman, Butler, would report the 896 unanimously cast votes accordingly to the Illinois Republican Party as such. I attest that this information is true accurate [sic]."
Sullivan is precinct committeeman for South Flannigan while Butler is precinct committeeman in Dahlgren 2, Hunt is precinct committeeman in Twigg, and Chapman is precinct committeeman in McLeansboro 2. All four ran unopposed for their precinct seats during the primaries in March.
The Illinois Republican Party claims Rose won the seat from Winchester, who had been State Central Committeeman for the 15th Congressional District since 1992. Rose, an assistant Republican caucus leader, has represented the 51st district since 2013, having previously been a member of the state House for about a decade.
The Illinois state Senate's 51st District encompasses all of Dewitt, Piatt, Moultrie, Douglas and Shelby counties and parts of McLean, Champaign, Vermilion, Edgar and Macon counties.
In April, sources informed Prairie State Wire that Winchester had retained counsel to launch a challenge to voting procedures in his Republican State Central Committee re-election bid. Those sources claimed that that the state GOP had run Rose against the incumbent Winchester to punish Winchester for backing Rep. Jeanne Ives (R-Wheaton) in her strong but unsuccessful March primary bid against Gov. Bruce Rauner.
Earlier this month, Winchester's attorney, Steve Boulton of Peraica & Associates in Chicago, said in a letter to state GOP General Counsel John Fogarty that the race results had been determined by a "group of unelected and merely appointed staff members" with "personal and financial interests" in the re-election of current state GOP Chairman Tim Schneider.
"The procedure may have well have been employed before, but it is not properly authorized and stands in contravention of the plain language of the Election Code," Boulton wrote in his letter. "Repetition of an unlawful practice does not make it legal. If such were true bank robbery would be legal today."
In his complaint filed in federal court, Winchester claimed the Illinois Republican party rigged the April 18 election against him. In an interview published this week in the Madison-St. Clair Record, Boulton claimed to have "a number" of affidavits that prove Winchester actually won the election.
Organizations in this Story
Illinois Governor Bruce Rauner • Illinois House of Representatives • Illinois Republican Party • Illinois State Senate • Illinois State Senator Chapin Rose (R-51st) • Illinois' 51st State Senate District