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  [Illinois] GOP chair: I'll take heat for Keyes debacle
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ContributorServo 
Last EditedServo  Oct 19, 2004 12:43am
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MediaNewspaper - Rockford Register Star
News DateTuesday, October 19, 2004 06:00:00 AM UTC0:0
DescriptionWhen Judy Baar Topinka steps down as chairman of the Illinois Republican Party after the Nov. 2 election, she will leave a party painfully divided over its future.

The tension was planted before Topinka became state GOP chairman in November 2002. That month, the party was steamrolled at the polls by scandal associated with former Gov. George Ryan, his pals and other party leaders. Topinka, the state treasurer, was the only remaining Republican statewide officeholder.

But over the past year, she presided over back-to-back election ordeals that highlighted the party's lack of a farm team as well as internal debate about whether to emphasize moderate or conservative social positions -- or not highlight social issues at all.

"I have to accept the entire responsibility for the simple reason the buck ends with me," Topinka told me Wednesday when I asked what level of responsibility she assumes for the Alan Keyes debacle.
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