The Illinois Republican Party has confirmed Rich Williamson has died. He passed away Sunday.
The Chicago resident was a long-time leader in the Illinois GOP. He lost a nationally watched campaign against Carol Moseley Braun in 1992. She went on to become the first black woman elected to the U.S. Senate.
Williamson was chairman of the state Republican Party from 1999-2001 and has served as Republican National Committeeman for Illinois since 2010. He served in diplomatic roles under three presidents and authored numerous books and articles.
The American Civil Liberties Union has hired a consulting firm started by the Illinois Republican Party's former chairman to help with efforts to legalize same-sex marriage in Illinois.
Pat Brady left his GOP post earlier this year after he said he supported gay marriage. He later started what he describes as a government affairs firm with Matt Strawn, the former chairman of the Republican Party of Iowa.