SPRINGFIELD - The Illinois Republican Party said Friday that gubernatorial hopeful Andy McKenna wrongly used party resources to poll his own name as a possible candidate for the office while he chaired the state GOP.
Party officials concluded that McKenna, who resigned his party post in August to run for governor, shouldn't have included his name in the poll without the central committee's approval.
In a joint statement, party Chairman Pat Brady and the McKenna campaign said McKenna "had no intent to violate the spirit or the intent of the party's by-laws, and he sincerely apologizes for having done so."
McKenna spokesman Lance Trover would not comment further. Party spokesman Curt Conrad similarly said the statement speaks for itself. The joint statement says the matter is considered closed.
Tyrone Fahner, who chaired the party's finance committee under McKenna, told the Chicago Tribune he was to blame for including McKenna's name. The state party reported, however, that McKenna's name appeared in the poll at his own urging along with that of the finance committee.
No disciplinary action is being taken against Fahner either.
While the state GOP and the McKenna campaign want to put the matter behind them, McKenna's challengers in the Republican primary aren't likely to let it rest.
DuPage County Board Chairman Bob Schillerstrom of Naperville, for instance, quickly issued a statement saying McKenna was "quietly tapping party resources to lay the groundwork for his own bid, violating the very code of ethics he established."
Meanwhile, McKenna's latest TV spot slams Republican gubernatorial candidates Jim Ryan, the former Illinois attorney general, and state Sen. Kirk Dillard for not ruling out tax increases to help fill the state's roughly $12 billion deficit. The ad states that only McKenna "can fix this mess with no tax increase."
Other GOP candidates vying for the party's nomination for governor are Hinsdale businessman Adam Andrzejewski, Sen. Bill Brady of Bloomington and conservative commentator Dan Proft of Chicago.
The Illinois primary is Feb. 2.