Catlin man off GOP gubernatorial ticket

Catlin man off GOP gubernatorial ticket

Ray Tranchant, a Catlin man who last month was announced as Republican gubernatorial candidate William Kelly's choice for lieutenant governor, has been booted off the ticket challenging Gov. Bruce Rauner.

In a statement Wednesday, Kelly said that "Tranchant was unable to serve due to a residency issue" but that he would continue to speak on behalf of Kelly.

Kelly later said in a telephone interview that "Ray did not meet the requirement that a candidate be a full-time Illinois resident for three years before the election. It's just an election technicality. It doesn't mean that he did anything wrong or illegal."

The Vermilion County Clerk's office said, however, that Tranchant has been registered to vote in Vermilion County only since Sept. 7.

Tranchant, meanwhile, claimed that he is dropping out because of a heart condition.

"I have been on a heart monitor for about a month," Tranchant said in an interview from his home in Virginia Beach, Va. "When the results came in, my cardiologist said there had been five incidents of atrial fibrillation so I am now doing a series of tests. I thought it would be totally unfair to William to continue with this thing. I'm going to have to go through a lot of stuff with this thing."

Kelly said Wednesday that his new running mate is Brian Leggero of Rockford.

"Together, the Kelly-Leggero team will run a 100 percent positive campaign on the issues, unite the Republican Party and ignite an Illinois miracle," Kelly said.

In September, Kelly announced that Tranchant, a vocal foe of both illegal immigration and Rauner's decision to sign a bill that restricts local law enforcement from collaborating with federal immigration agents on cases, would be his running mate.

Tranchant's 16-year-old daughter, Tessa, was killed by an illegal immigrant from Mexico in an auto accident 10 years ago in Virginia Beach. He said that the Illinois Trust Act, which Rauner signed, was "a sanctuary bill" that would protect hundreds of thousands of illegal immigrants in the Chicago area who now would move downstate.

Tranchant said at the time that although he was living in Virginia Beach, he had retained his Illinois residency while in the military.

He repeated the assertion Wednesday.

"I am an Illinois resident. I am a voter. My house is on Webster Street, next to my brother Jimmy," Tranchant said.

But records show he didn't register to vote until the same day he was announced as Kelly's running mate.

Tranchant said he was displeased with Kelly, although he would continue to work for him.

"He put all this stuff out there and I wasn't happy. What am I going to do? I don't care," Tranchant said. "I'm going to rally and campaign for him still. I'm going to be there for him. And I'm going to introduce him to some of my friends in Washington, D.C., who are in the Trump administration."

Tranchant said Kelly confronted him with concerns about his residency.

"Here's what Kelly told me: that he had spoken with a lawyer and because of the back-and-forth status we could get you on the ballot but it would cost $50,000 in legal fees to do it and he didn't think he wanted to spend that kind of money," Tranchant recounted. "I don't know where he's coming off, making those statements about my residency.

"As a matter of fact, he's the one who challenged (Chicago Mayor) Rahm Emanuel's residency so if you don't have the (nerve) to come to the plate and stand up for what you fought against, well, it sounds like you're afraid of Rauner.

"I'm not afraid of Rauner."

Sections (2):News, Local