Keith Brin elected new Lake County GOP chairman; Lauren Beth Gash reelected Democratic chairSteve Sadin
Keith Brin, a former clerk of the Circuit Court of Lake County, is the new chairman of the Lake County Republican Central Committee, while the former chair, Mark Shaw, moves into a leadership role with Mark Curran’s campaign for a seat on the Illinois Supreme Court.
Brin was elected party chairman by acclamation at the organization’s biennial convention Wednesday in Round Lake Beach, with a vision to help the party regain some of the offices it lost in the 2018 and 2020 elections.
Court clerk from 2012 to 2016 and a Highland Park resident, Brin said he wants to involve the chairs of the county’s 18 township organizations, and the precinct committeemen who compose those groups, more to connect with voters.
“Our goal is to get Republicans elected,” Brin said. “We want to empower our township chairs and precinct committeemen to talk to their neighbors and share information about our values. People will vote for those values.”
Leadership of the Lake County Democrats remained unchanged as former state Rep. Lauren Beth Gash, D-Highland Park, was reelected chair Wednesday at that party’s biennial convention.
In a letter to Republican precinct committeemen announcing his bid for the chairmanship, Brin said the party went from 14 of 21 seats on the Lake County Board in 2016 to six after the 2020 election.Newly elected Lake County Republican Central Committee Chairman Keith Brin talks to the crowd at the biennial Lake County Republican convention.
– Original Credit: News-Sun
The only countywide GOP officeholder left — Regional Superintendent of Schools Michael Karner — is running as a Democrat in the Nov. 8 general election. Lake County Clerk Robin O’Connor, elected as a Democrat in 2018, is seeking reelection as a Republican this fall.
“We want to provide the resources our candidates need to win,” Brin said. “Our job is to support them in any way we can to help them get elected. We’re not going to do primary endorsements anymore. We’re going to support the primary winners.”
Just as Brin intends to help Republicans regain lost ground, Gash said she intends to lead Democrats to further gains. Along with her, the party’s entire slate of nine officers was reelected, including First Vice Chair Nancy Shepherdson and vice chairs Vance Wyatt and Jose Rivera.
“Democrats are committed to diversity, equity and inclusion,” Gash said. “Lake County Republicans are out of touch with the values of Lake County voters,” she added, referring to those who continue to embrace the views of former President Donald Trump.
One reason Brin wants to empower township organizations is because of his party’s diversity. He said people in Deerfield have different views and priorities than those in Antioch. He also recognizes Trump’s lack of popularity here.
“You can’t depend on a presidential run (to win) in Lake County or Illinois,” Brin said. “That is something we have to deal with. No party is a single individual. We can’t make this all about Trump.”
In the 2020 election, Republican candidates for Lake County state’s attorney, coroner, clerk of the circuit court and recorder all received more votes countywide than Trump.
Shaw unanimously retained his position as his party’s state central committeeman for the 10th Congressional District at the convention. He will now devote time to helping Curran, a former Lake County sheriff, become a state Supreme Court justice. He hopes to help bring a GOP majority to the court.
“This enormous responsibility is humbling because securing an independent, but constitutionally grounded, judiciary is critical to restoring Lake County and Illinois,” Shaw said.