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GOP aiming to recruit more Chicago candidates

CHICAGO (AP) — Republicans are launching a new candidate recruitment program in Democrat-dominated Chicago that includes an advertising campaign and what's being described as an "American Idol"-style vetting process.

Party officials say the effort to find state legislative and city council candidates is "unprecedented" because of its open, public process. Illinois House Republican Leader Tom Cross and State Sen. Matt Murphy announced the campaign during a Tuesday news conference.

They say they want to place more credible Republican candidates on the ballot in all 37 General Assembly districts located within the city.

The four-part plan begins this month with an advertising campaign to attract candidates. It'll be followed by a public vetting process, candidate training and legal defense.

The party estimates there are about 150,000 Chicagoans who vote Republican in a General Election.

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