So much for a drawn-out, ugly battle for Illinois Republican Party chairman. Pat Brady was elected to replace Andy McKenna this morning in a closed-door meeting of the Republican State Central Committee. McKenna had announced his immediate resignation a couple hours earlier.

So much for a drawn-out, ugly battle for Illinois Republican Party chairman.

Pat Brady was elected to replace Andy McKenna this morning in a closed-door meeting of the Republican State Central Committee. McKenna had announced his immediate resignation a couple hours earlier.

McKenna expected the party would pick his replacement within 60 days. Instead, it did it much more quickly. Reporters didn't learn of the selection until Republican Day Festivities moved from a Springfield hotel, where Brady was selected, to the fairgrounds.

Brady is a former federal prosecutor and lawyer who lives in Chicago. He has been the party's national committeeman since last year, replacing Bob Kjellander.

McKenna said he didn't push Brady or any other candidate but said it's good to have a replacement so quickly.

"I didn't have a top candidate but I think he's a great choice," McKenna said.

Other party officials have praised Brady as a good new face for leadership.

"Pat Brady's a quality guy and he's smart and he can organize," said House Minority Leader Tom Cross, R-Oswego.

GateHouse News Service State Capitol Bureau