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St. Clair County GOP rebukes Romanik, says Hildenbrand only candidate up to standards

Tanya Hildenbrand and Bob Romanik, both of Belleville, are seeking the Republican nomination for the 57th state Senate seat.
Tanya Hildenbrand and Bob Romanik, both of Belleville, are seeking the Republican nomination for the 57th state Senate seat.

In a resolution adopted by the St. Clair County Republican Central Committee, the local party is saying only one candidate in the GOP primary for the 57th Senate district meets Republican standards.

The other candidate in the primary — radio shock jock Bob Romanik — wasn't mentioned by name in the resolution, but it clearly referred to him. The resolution said the party is "unified in revulsion at the racist and sexist verbalization and beliefs being expressed by certain candidates," and said his opponent, Tanya Hildenbrand, is the "only candidate" who meets GOP standards in the race between the two.

The party adopted the resolution on Tuesday and released to media on Friday.

Barbara Viviano, the chairwoman of the St. Clair County Republicans, said the resolution was not a formal endorsement of Hildenbrand. The local party does not formally endorse candidates until after the primary elections.

She did say Romanik is not a real Republican.

Viviano said she recently listened to Romanik’s show, and “I thought I was going to lose it. He’s gone after Tanya just terribly.”

Local Republicans said in their resolution that they "strongly and unequivocally condemn the racist, sexist views and candidacies of anyone who openly proclaims racist and sexist views in language, in the persistent use of racist, sexist, abusive names, and the inciting of division based on those views. "

The resolution urged voters in the GOP primary to vote for candidates who don't use "racist sexist, abusive language. It also urged voters against supporting "extremists."

"We Republicans in St. Clair County join with Republicans across Illinois to urge civic-minded citizens, regardless of party, to get involved in the political process to prevent non-party extremists from hijacking party nominations and corroding our country’s democracy," the resolution said.

Hildenbrand has filed a police report against Romanik, alleging he or someone associated with him may have hacked into her Facebook account.

In the police report, Hildenbrand said that Romanik has a talk radio show that incites racial tension and hatred.

In 2016, the St. Clair County Republican Central Committee censured Romanik, accusing him of use of profane language, verbal abuse toward candidates and support for Democratic precinct committeemen.

In an interview on Friday, Romanik said he asked to be censured again and doesn't want to be a part of a party that had Doug Jameson as its leader. Jameson has stepped down as head of the county's GOP to concentrate on his own run for the General Assembly.

"I don't give a damn about what they do to me," said Romanik, who said he truly is independent.

He called this resolution a publicity ploy.

"They could kiss my white, independent, hairy (expletive)," Romanik said.

The primary election is on March 20, with the winner going on to the Nov. 6 general election. The only Democrat seeking to run in the 57th state Senate district is Christopher Belt, of Cahokia.

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