Former Illinois GOP Mainstay Rich Williamson Dies
by the Associated Press
Former Republican U.S. Senate candidate and diplomat Rich Williamson has died at age 64.
William H. Scott Funeral Home in Wilmette and the Illinois Republican Party said Monday that Williamson died 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 three presidents and authored numerous books and articles.
The cause of death was not immediately known. Illinois Republican Party Chair Jack Dorgan called Williamson a "true friend'' who loved his family, country and party.
UPDATE: A family spokesman says candidate Rich Williamson died of complications from a cerebral hemorrhage.
Family friend and spokesman Alan Holmer was one of Williamson's Princeton classmates and is a former ambassador. Holmer gave Williamson's cause of death Monday.