The Illinois GOP State Central Committee has selected a Brown County native as its next chairman of the Illinois Republican Party. Don Tracy was selected unanimously this evening by the committee to replace Tim Schneider, who announced his resignation in December.
The 70-year old Tracy is a businessman and lawyer with the firm Brown, Hay, & Stephens in Springfield. Born and raised in rural Mt. Sterling, he is the oldest of twelve children. Don and his eleven siblings own and manage Dot Foods, Inc. and its other national businesses and affiliates. Tracy is also the brother-in-law of 47th District State Senator Jil Tracy. Tracy becomes the first chairman of the Illinois Republican Party from outside Chicago and the collar counties since 1988.
Tracy is the past president of the Sangamon County Bar Association, currently on the Board of Directors of the Illinois Bar Foundation, former chair of the Illinois Gaming Board, and formerly the past chair of the Illinois Secretary of State’s Corporate Acts Advisory Committee. He has been a member of the Illinois Bar Association since 1977 after earning his juris doctor at the University of Memphis School of Law.
Tracy ran unsuccessfully for an Illinois Senate seat in 2002 as a Democrat and later lost his bid to become the Republican nominee for lieutenant governor in 2010.
Tracy beat out Mark Shaw, the Lake County Republican Party chairman and president of the Republican County Chairmen’s Association of Illinois, and Kendall County Board Chairman Scott Gryder.
According to the State Journal Register, Tracy had the backing of 18th District Congressman Darin LaHood and 13th District Congressman Rodney Davis for the position. Davis tweeted the following after the announcement this evening: “My good friend Don Tracy will be a great ILGOP Chairman. He understands good policy and has been active in our Party for years. Don’s unifying leadership will lead our Party to victory against Pritzker and Madigan’s DPI in 2022. Looking forward to growing our party together.”
Tracy will serve the remaining 2 years on Schneider’s final term.