Rebuilding the Illinois GOP

Written by Jon A. Zahm

By Allowing EVERY GOP Primary Voter an Equal Vote for Party Leadership

When you donate money to the Illinois Republican Party to fight back against President Joe Biden, Governor JB Pritzker, and the supermajority of liberal Democrats in both chambers of the General Assembly, how are the funds spent?

It is up to a 17-member governing board, the State Central Committee (SCC), one person from each Congressional District chosen by party insiders ranging from Precinct Committeemen to Township Committeemen to County Chairmen.

These 17 then elect a State Party Chairman and also control which staff is hired and which political consultants and vendors receive lucrative contracts. And this small group of 17 determines the policies, issues, and communications that go out under the Party name. They act similar to a company’s board of directors.

By contrast, every Democrat voter votes directly for their State Central Committeeman. And they have been beating us consistently in elections since 1986 when a few party bosses, like now-disgraced Speaker Dennis Hastert and RINO IL House Minority Leader Lee Daniels conspired to change the rules and limit grassroots voting rights.

Only Precinct Committeemen in Illinois, under the current rules, can vote. Not a single Republican voter within that precinct is allowed to vote on those who make up the powerful State Central Committee. That must change. What about all the other good Republicans who live in those precincts? They are disenfranchised. No vote for them for SCC.

If a company refused to allow their shareholders/stakeholders to vote on who the Board of Directors are, they would be sanctioned and even jailed. (From

Our Party currently operates this inside-deal system that lacks transparency and does not respect the people who make up their broad base. Those who work hard, raise their families, and pay taxes – the same good folks who don’t always have the time to do a lot of local politics.

I first got involved as a leader of this movement when my mentor, former State Senator and current Kane County Treasurer, Chris Lauzen, introduced Senate Bill 600 in 2009 to reform a party then dominated by corrupt power players like Gov. George Ryan. It passed 44-13 only to die in the Illinois House where later convicted fixer Mike Madigan, and Tom Cross, made sure it did not get a vote.

Don’t let our vote on this be taken away forever. Stand for Reform. Stand for Principle. Stand for an open party that welcomes people who identify as Republicans. Do the right thing. Everyone should have one vote. That is the American and Constitutional way.

This is the Resolution that will be considered this Friday, May 24th, at 10 AM by the Platform and Resolutions Committee at the 2024 IL GOP Convention in Collinsville. We ask each member to endorse this, or, if not, at least vote it to the Convention Floor so all delegates in attendance can have a say-so.

To add your name and title to our list as a supporter please send me an email to The decision on Direct Elections will be made Saturday, May 25. The 25th new name I receive will be thanked by me making a $25 donation to the charity of their choice. I can also be texted/called at 630-946-8683 (630-WIN-VOTE). My main page is Jon A Zahm on Facebook.

Click HERE for a growing list of Republican and conservative organizations who have endorsed the Resolution to give every Republican primary voter a right to vote for Party leadership. If passed, this will occur every 4 years beginning in March of 2026 on the Republican Primary ballot. Each of the 17 Congressional Districts will elect one man or one woman for these important party posts that decide how to spend party dollars, how to win elections and how to help all Republicans win. IFA’s devoted and excellent leader David E. Smith is a longtime supporter of Direct Elections.

Thank you and May God Bless You!

Jon Zahm has been a conservative and Republican leader since 1991, consultant, elected to three different school boards, twice serving as President of the Board. He has over 25 years experience as an elected Republican Precinct Committeeman in Illinois. Jon and his son Daniel own and operate a non-profit political and communications firm in Henry County: