Paul McKinley, the Republican running in the special election to replace Congressman Jesse Jackson, Jr., has been endorsed by Operation Black Storm, an initiative of Patriot PAC, that recognizes “highly qualified conservative candidates.”

McKinley joins fellow Operation Black Storm candidates Ted Cruz, Allen West, Mia Love, Tim Scott, and others. McKinley’s reaction:

Frederick Douglass once said, “I am a Republican, a black, dyed in the wool Republican, and I never intend to belong to any other party than the party of freedom and progress.” I believe this is true today, and we are in the midst of a reawakening of the Black community to the promise conservative principles hold for all Americans….You can’t blame Republicans for what’s going on in my district; it has been ruled by the tyranny of the Left’s Democratic Machine for 60 years. It is time to stand up to those that would keep us down—and that includes the left’s media attack dogs, which serve to protect the Machine’s property—us.

The Republican establishment is ignoring the voters’ choice, instead giving a less than welcoming reception to McKinley.

The Washington Times reports that the Illinois GOP has yet to acknowledge McKinley’s candidacy, even as conservative groups such as Operation Black Storm, which is a project of the Patriot PAC, are seeking to endorse McKinley. From the Washington Times:

Illinois’s 2nd Congressional District is the seat once held by the infamous Jesse Jackson, Jr. Paul McKinley won the GOP primary for the special election to replace the disgraced congressman. If it were up to the Illinois GOP, Republican voters would not know this. The party is acting as if McKinley did not exist. In reality, the Illinois GOP is acting as if there were no special election. That could only mean they are rooting for the Chicago Machine candidate, Robin Kelly to win. Illinois Republican party leaders are being true to form.

….The Illinois Republican Party wrote this special election off as a non-winner. They refused to put any time, effort, or money into it. The election is not even mentioned on their website’s candidate page. This is typical of the Illinois GOP.

McKinley is less than fazed, as he has been hitting the campaign trail nonstop, visiting local conservative and community groups, as well as Tea Parties.

Still, grassroots conservatives are livid that so-called Illinois Republican “insider” Chris Robling went on local tv to slam McKinley, later acknowledging that he had no knowledge of McKinley’s platform or the man himself. Robling is the same “Illinois Republican insider” who in the past praised Valerie Jarrett as someone who would “make an outstanding senator.”

With Operation Black Storm’s endorsement–a group thankfully outside the decaying Illinois Republican structure–McKinley has made all the more clear the contrast between his supporters (the conservatives and those in the urban areas of the district embracing a Republican for the first time) and the establishment Republicans in Illinois.