New party heads elected in Madison, St. Clair counties

News-DemocratApril 22, 2014 

New party heads have been elected in Madison and St. Clair counties, and the new chairman of the St. Clair County Republican Party says the party will be slating candidates in races in the November election.

The chairmen, chosen during party meetings last week, will lead their respective parties in the march toward the general election in November. The party heads set political and fundraising strategies, and have a say in determining who gets appointed to fill vacant positions in elected bodies.

In St. Clair County, Tim Buchanan is now the chairman of the local Republican Party. Buchanan was elected to a two-year term, replacing former party chairman Steve Amos. Buchanan is the former supervisor of St. Clair County Township.

Robert Sprague remains the chairman of the St. Clair County Democratic Party.

Buchanan said the local party has not yet made final decisions on who will run as Republicans in November in the races that, so far, have only Democrat candidates.

"Our main challenge will be organizing an ever-growing Republican Party," Buchanan said. "We have grown exponentially in the last few years and expect that trend to continue."

The deadline for an established party to place a candidate on the ballot is June 2. The parties can appoint a candidate for a race as long as the party did not nominate someone in the primary election.

Four Democratic candidates and two Republican candidates are running unopposed to retain their seats on the St. Clair County Board. Democrats, for now, are running unopposed for three countywide seats: the sheriff, county clerk and county assessor.

Buchanan himself is challenging Democratic County Board member Joseph Kassly Jr. in the general election in November to represent District 28, which encompasses part of Fairview Heights and Swansea.

In Madison County, the Democratic Party elected Allan Napp, of Godfrey, as the new party chairman. Napp, 49, replaces Jim Stack.

Napp, a longtime precinct committeeman, was also recently re-elected as chairman of the Godfrey Township Democratic Committee. He is a lawyer with the Schrempf, Kelly, Napp and Darr law firm in Alton.

Napp said Madison County Democrats are "FDR Democrats" sharing the same ideals as past generations.

"We are hard-working American families who believe in rebuilding the middle class, protecting our religious and Second Amendment rights and living within our means," Napp said, noting Madison County government successfully weathered the economic crisis of the last several years under Democratic leadership.

Napp is the husband of Madison County Circuit Judge Kyle Napp.

The Madison County Republican Party elected Chris Slusser as the new party chairman, replacing Andrew Carruthers. Slusser, of Wood River, previously served on the Madison County Board and attempted to unseat current County Board Chairman Alan Dunstan in the 2012 election.

Slusser could not immediately be reached for comment Tuesday.

The Madison County Republicans did not address whether to slate a candidate for sheriff during the April 16 meeting. The party plans to meet again before the June 2 filing deadline.

John Lakin, the Glen Carbon police chief, won the primary in March to be the Democrats' candidate for sheriff. He defeated fellow Democrat Bob Hertz, who is the current sheriff.

Contact reporter Daniel Kelley at or 618-239-2501.

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