DIXON – A Republican Party official representing part of the Sauk Valley is witholding judgment on the party's chairman, who endorsed legalizing same-sex marriage in January.
Sen. Dave Syverson, R-Rockford, is a member of the party's state central committee, which will decide whether to oust Chairman Pat Brady at a special, closed-door meeting Saturday. Syverson represents an area for the Republican Party that matches the former boundaries of the 16th Congressional District, which includes Whiteside County.
He said he wasn't happy with how Brady handled the same-sex marriage issue.
"I am withholding judgment until after we meet and after I have a chance to talk to Pat about this issue, the role of chairman on controversial issues and what direction he believes the party should go," Syverson said in an email to Sauk Valley Media.
He also said the GOP should focus on issues that "bind the party together on fiscal and economic issues."
On Feb. 14, Syverson joined all Senate Republicans but one opposing the legalization of same-sex marriage. The Democratic majority passed the legislation. Now the House is considering it. If the bill passes, Gov. Pat Quinn is expected to sign it.
The state Republican platform opposes same-sex marriage.
In January, party chairmen for northwestern Illinois' counties called for Brady's ouster.
Another state committeeman, Sen. Jim Oberweis, R-Sugar Grove, who represents Lee County on the state Central Committee, is leading the charge against Brady. He told a Chicago radio station that the issue had nothing to do with gay marriage.
"It has something to do with a CEO of an organization lobbying on behalf of something the organization opposes," Oberweis said.