Local Democrats Mourn Murder of Arkansas Democratic Party Chairman

A press release from the McHenry County Democratic Party:


CRYSTAL LAKE—Kathy Bergan Schmidt, Chair of the Democratic Party of McHenry County expressed her shock and dismay at the assassination of Arkansas Democratic Party Chair Bill Gwatney in Little Rock on Wednesday.

Bergan Schmidt was attending the Illinois Democratic Party State Convention and Democrats Day at the Illinois State Fair with several other members of the McHenry County Party when the shooting occurred. “We didn’t get word until later,” she said after returning to Crystal Lake on Thursday.

Gwatney was shot multiple times in his office by Timothy Johnson, who was reportedly distraught over loosing his job. Gwatney had no known connection to Johnson. The assassin was killed by police after a 30 chase.

A former Arkansas state senator, Gwatney had been a strong supporter of Senator Hillary Clinton’s presidential campaign but had subsequently endorsed Senator Barack Obama. He planned to attend the Democratic National Convention in Denver as a super delegate.

“Our sympathies go out to Chairman Gwatney’s family and to the dedicated members of the Arkansas Democratic Party,” Bergan Schmidt said. “The actions of a troubled man can not and will not stop Democrats from working for hope and change in America.”

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