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Illinois GOP chair to take 'cold, hard look' at election losses

The head of the state Republican Party says the GOP is regrouping after tough losses in Illinois elections, but he doesn't seem ready to resign on his own.

Illinois GOP chairman Pat Brady said Thursday party leaders are in the process of putting together an "after action" report to find out why his party's candidates had a "very, very bad night" on Tuesday.

Of the six hotly-contested congressional races in Illinois, Republicans lost four of them, thereby erasing the GOP gains of 2010. Among the defeats was Republican U.S. Rep. Bob Dold's one-point loss to Democrat Brad Schneider in the north suburban 10th District, where voters haven't sent a Democrat to Congress in more than three decades. Meanwhile, 13-year incumbent Rep. Judy Biggert lost by double digits to Democrat Bill Foster.

Democrats also picked up veto-proof majorities in both chambers of the Illinois House.

Part of Republicans' brutal losses can be chalked up to the once-a-decade redistricting process, during which Democrats redrew political boundaries to their favor, Brady said. 

But he also said Tuesday's losses demonstrate that Illinois Republicans have a larger image problem.

"You can’t whine about the map. The map’s the map," Brady said. "We need to take a cold, hard look at what happened, face the realities and do better, which we will."

Despite the tough losses, Brady would not say he was ready to resign the party chairmanship he's held since 2009.

"I’m a volunteer. If I’m asked by the central committee or Sen. [Mark] Kirk to step down, I’ll do whatever’s in the best interest of the party, but no one’s approached me about that yet," Brady said.

Brady also said strong Democratic turnout hurt Republicans on Tuesday.

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