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Chicago GOP To Launch ‘American Idol’ Style Search For Candidates

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CHICAGO (CBS) – The Chicago Republican Party is kicking off a new effort to attract candidates citywide, and part of it involves an “American Idol-style” vetting process.

WBBM Newsradio’s Bernie Tafoya reports the party will first run a set of Internet ads seeking potential GOP candidates for state legislative races in next year’s election.

Spokesman Chris Cleveland said people who apply to run as Republican candidates and fill out surveys will be asked to engage in an “American Idol-style” vetting process, which will include standing before a selection panel to present a speech about themselves and their views.

“The committee’s mandate is to select credible candidates who adhere to core Republican values. There will be no litmus tests,” the party said in a news release.

The panel will decide if candidates get party backing, assistance getting on the 2014 ballot, defense against any ballot challenges, and training for their campaign.

The party planned an Internet advertising campaign to attract potential GOP candidates for the Illinois General Assembly, targeted at the 150,000 city residents who regularly vote Republican.

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