Illinois' Republican Delegates Prepare for Convention in Cleveland | NBC Chicago
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Illinois' Republican Delegates Prepare for Convention in Cleveland

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Fed up. That best describes Eric Sawchuk, a west suburban businessman and delegate to the Republican National Convention.

    "I was making more money ten years ago than I am now," Sawchuk said.

    He is part of the delegation from the Land of Lincoln heading to Cleveland with little political experience for a convention unlike any other in decades.

    Delegates begin arriving Sunday July 17, with the four-day ceremony commencing on Monday the 18th.

    A part-time minor league umpire Eric Sawchuk heads to Ohio for the big leagues of politics.

    "I just feel that having an outsider as Donald Trump will shake things up and will bring in a new perspective," he said.

    As a kid 36-year old real estate broker Kevin Jayne cut his political teeth in Dick Mell’s 33rd ward.

    "I went door to door to get the vote out,” he recalled. But his political appetite faded, until Trump came along.

    "Republicans and democrats seem to want to just push these global trade deals forward at the expense of the American worker," Jayne said noting a primary reason he is backing the New York businessman.

    The Illinois delegation is made of up 54 popularly elected Trump delegates, 9 who back Ted Cruz and 6 who support John Kasich. In addition there are 12 at-large delegates selected at the state Republican convention. All are bound to support their candidate on the first ballot.

    But that could change if Pat Brady has his way.

    "The party is in peril right now with Donald Trump at the top of the ticket," Brady said.

    A Kasich delegate and former state Republican chairman, Brady is part of a national effort to unbind delegates and let them vote their conscience. Brady argues with Trump, republicans cannot defeat Democrat Hillary Clinton in November.

    "Suburban women can’t stand him. Hispanics can’t stand him. African Americans can’t stand him. You can’t win in this country with those kinds of numbers," he said.

    But neither Kevin Jayne or Eric Sawchuk will buck the candidate that will bring them to Cleveland.

    "I’m a Trump delegate. Not going to change. Not going to bend the rules," Sawchuk said.

    "My vote stays with Mr. Trump," echoed Kevin Jayne.

    "It’s not that Trump doesn’t present some squeamish moments, Sawchuk admits. "Sometimes he will say something and I’ll go like ohhh."

    But make no mistake, Eric Sawchuk is decidedly, unabashedly in Donald Trump’s corner.

    Call it conviction in Cleveland.

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