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Dernulc elected Lake County GOP chairman

Dernulc

Dernulc

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Updated: April 4, 2013 6:53AM



Lake County Councilman Dan Dernulc edged out Allan Katz 140-113 Saturday to take over as chairman of the county’s Republican Party following a spirited campaign for party reorganization.

Party unity was an underlying theme for both men as Republicans begin to make strides capturing offices in the largely Democratic county.

“Yes, we have had some successes in the last few years, but I know we can do better,” Dernulc said before the vote.

Regardless whether party members’ views are aligned with the tea party or traditional conservatives, Dernulc said it is time for all Republicans to come together.

“I am and will be inclusive,” Dernulc said.

Katz, too, said unity would be necessary to bring the party forward.

“We must unite to win,” Katz said.

Signs of the cracks in that unity were apparent in the race for vice chair.

While outgoing chairman Kim Krull, who aligned with Katz, followed protocol declining the nomination against Rebecca Holwerda for vice chair, caucus members inquired what no votes for Holwerda would do.

“If there are more no votes than votes for the nominee we have to vote again for that office,” Jeffrey Gunning, chairman pro-tem, said.

Pf the 363 delegates eligible to attend the caucus, 253 signed in to vote. To win a seat a candidate must have 50-plus percent of all votes cast.

Twenty-eight of the 148 votes cast for vice chair were no votes.

Delegate Richard Ludlow, of Schneider, said the division in the vote for vice chair underscores the division in the party.

“There hasn’t been party unity in the last three years (Krull) has been chair. We need to work toward that,” Ludlow said.

Dernulc said after his election that party unity has been a problem and he will work to change that.

“I need to talk to a lot of folks to see what their ideas are,” Dernulc said. “I know we can be the party of choice for people.”

He said he plans to build on the good work that has been done by Krull.

“I love this party. I will do what’s right for this party,” Dernulc said.

State Rep. Rick Niemeyer, R-Lowell, was elected secretary and Andy Qunell, of Munster, was elected treasurer.



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