At a private reception for Gov. Tim Pawlenty Wednesday night at the historic Chicago Hilton, GOP candidate for Illinois Comptroller William J. Kelly filled the Minnesota Governor in on his plan to bring the RNC Convention to Chicago, which recently loss of string of major conventions and the 2016 Olympics. Kelly quipped to Pawlenty: “You might be spending alot more time here at the Hilton in 2012.”

Recently, Kelly has lobbied RNC Chairman Michael Steele on the idea. Kelly isn’t shedding any tears over Chicago’s Olympics loss but thinks the RNC Convention could be a great fit for Chicago. Chicago’s first Republican convention in 1860 nominated Abraham Lincoln for President. The last Republican convention held in Chicago in 1960 nomimated Richard Nixon. Both Republican nominees went on to win the White House.

Pawlenty was interested in hearing about Kelly’s statewide race for Illinois Comptroller because of its open-seat status. Current Comptroller, Dan Hynes, is in a tough Democrat primary race for Governor against Pat Quinn. “One of the reasons I am running for Comptroller is to build a Republican party,” Kelly told Pawlenty. “If we can reform Illinois and rebuild the Republican party in the process, we can help a Republican presidential candidate carry the state in 2012.” Pawlenty, who is mentioned as a possible presidential contender, was all ears. Though Kelly, a conservative candidate, says it is far too early too early to tell what kind of presidential candidate the Minnesota governor would make.

William J. Kelly is running on a platform to be Illinois’ first “activist” comptroller. He is the former executive director of the National Taxpayers United of Illinois. He is also an entrepreneur with an Emmy award-winning TV production company and currently hosts the multi-state sports TV series, “Sportsaholic.” For information, visit


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