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Rauner looking for support, strategy from county GOP party

County heat!

Bruce’s next battle!

The Grand Old Party has got a grand old fight on its hands.

Translation: Sneed hears a tug of war is being waged over leadership of the Republican Party in the Democratic bastion of Cook County.

GOP gubernatorial primary winner Bruce Rauner is backing the re-election of Cook County’s present GOP chairman, Aaron Del Mar, Republican committeeman from Palatine township.

Conservatives are backing Chris Cleveland, a hard-charging 43rd Ward GOP committeeman, to steer the Rauner ticket to victory on Gov. Pat Quinn’s homefront.

Quite simply, Del Mar backed Rauner in his primary battle against longtime party stalwarts State Sen. Kirk Dillard, State Treasurer Dan Rutherford and State Sen. Bill Brady — so Rauner supports him.

Quite frankly, party purists argue: “Del Mar is lethargic and lazy and didn’t even attract enough endorsed candidates to fill out a party ballot,” said a top party source.

In 1999, Cleveland, now owner of a Chicago-based software company called Dieselpoint, Inc., ran for 43rd Ward alderman. He lost, but he claims he got the highest percentage of votes a Republican had received in that district to date. “It’s about candidates, media, and money, in that order,” Cleveland told conservative blog Illinois Review. “Without the horsepower to bring those things in, a political party isn’t doing its job.”

The GOP strategy? “The black vote in Cook County is paramount for Rauner; especially if they don’t vote,” said a top political strategist. “The strategy is pretty clear. Rauner already blocked out Rev. James Meeks and every black who doesn’t turn out in the November election hurts Gov. Pat Quinn.

“Rauner’s strategists are smart enough to replicate what Republican Gov. Jim Edgar did to defeat Democrat Neil Hartigan by getting the black reverends on his side to make it look like [Edgar] got the base of black support,” the Dem source said.

“That ensured low black voter turnout, which would be disastrous for Pat Quinn.“

Stay tuned.