Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Cook County Races

in all the hubbub about the presidential and congressional candidates in this february's primary, we may have forgotten that there are other races here in cook county that will be on the ballot.

one incumbent gets to elect herself (when she votes), in kind of a surprise. dorothy brown, our circuit court clerk, drew not a single challenger. it may be a thankless task, so that explains the lack of a republican or green party challenger, but dorothy, you may remember, ran against da mayor last february. some speculated, because she announced before jesse decided if he'd get into the race, that she was a plant, drawn into the race to dilute the black vote. well, she didn't exactly make the mayor mad. the fact that she draws no opponent will not dampen that speculation.

the local race everyone is likely to watch is the open seat for state's attorney. tom allen, alderman from the 38th ward, has already posted here. assistant state’s attorney anita alvarez offers perhaps the best credentials out of that office: she "oversees the day-to-day operations of more than 900 assistant state’s attorneys in eight different divisions handling felony prosecutions and civil actions." howard brookins, alderman of the 21st ward, is seen by many as the front runner, having hired mike noonan to run his campaign and gotten perhaps the earliest start. cook county commissioner larry suffredin has forrest claypool's endorsement and looks to be running a similar kind of reform campaign. assistant state’s attorney bob milan was in line by 9, but got the last spot out of the lottery. tommy brewer, also a evanston resident, completes the ballot for state's attorney.

candidates in the state's attorney's race have already been making the rounds. carl's proviso probe points to this video of the candidate forum at the proviso township democratic organization. anita alvarez and tommy brewer both drew challenges to their paperwork, and will be forced to deal with that before concentrating on their campaigns. brewer appears to be most likely to get thrown off the ballot (speculation based on other people's comments). alvarez claims that someone who works for howard brookins is the person who challenged her petitions "at the last minute." this story appeared on the local abc station as i write this.

the county democratic party could not agree on a candidate to slate in this race, since neither brookins, allen nor suffredin could manage a clear majority:
Among the committeemen, Brookins got 107,904 in weighted votes, Allen 90,861, and Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin 66,522. Anita Alvarez, the third-in-command at the state's attorney's office, got one committeeman's vote for 4,875. Her boss, First Assistant State's Attorney Bob Milan, got none, as did lawyer Tommy Brewer and state Transportation Department Chief of Staff Clayton Harris III.

Seven committeemen rose to speak for Allen, and six spoke on Suffredin's behalf.

Allen has locked up support from many of Chicago's unions, and Suffredin said he was the best candidate to face Republican Tony Peraica in the fall. Brookins said he's not afraid of stepping on toes.

this was probably the biggest blow to brookins, who thought he had the votes to win. at this point, there seems to be a concensus that this race will come down to brookins and alvarez, if she can raise enough money to be competitive. that speculation assumes that suffredin and allen will cancel each other out. this will definitely be one of our primary races to watch in february. what i will be paying attention to is which of these candidates plant their flag in the other competitive races (such as IL-03) -- areas likely to see higher turnout than the rest of the county.

on the republican side, tony peraica drew an opponent in edward barron. both republicans have seen objections to the paperwork they filed with david orr's office.

another race that has the potential for getting competitive will be that for cook county recorder of deeds. as carl knows, karen yarborough has been chasing eugene moore out of office, and there was some speculation that she would challenge moore for this one. when i asked her about that, she laughed. "too much work," she said. "i already have one (unpaid) position that is like that." instead, she is backing ed smith, alderman of the 28th ward, who is the last of the independents elected with harold washington in 1983. smith probably made the most ernest run at an incumbent during the slating meeting, but fell short. our favorite machine plant, john t. kelly, has also jumped into this race. both kelly and smith have received objections to their filing.

an even lesser known race, if that's possible, is the cook county board of review. two seats (the 2nd and 3rd districts) are up in 2008, and both incumbents are running for re-election. but only cook county democratic chair, joseph berrios, drew a challenger. i don't think it will surprise anyone that challenger jay paul deratany has objections filed against him, in the hopes of knocking him off the ballot. welcome to chicago!

finally, we are in for a lively race for the metropolitan water reclamation district. after deb shore brought interest to this race from progressives in cook county, i think people look at this as a real office worth running for. as such, we got a lot of candidates running for the three seats open in 2008.

there are eleven democrats who filed to run for the mwrd commission this february. starting of the ballot will be diane jones, who ran for chicago city clerk this last february. a mwrd employee (at least, she was), diane had the singular distinction of winning "a third of the votes and beat[ing Miguel] del Valle in every African-American ward by margins of 200 to 2,000 votes.” next on the primary ballot will be the democratic slate of incumbents kathleen meany [pdf] and frank avila and perennial candidate dean maragos. next comes kathleen o’reilley, who benefits from the irish-sounding (could be irish -- what do *i* know!) name -- a plus in the chicago area. then we'll see the other incumbent, cynthia santos [pdf]. cynthia apparently lost the party's endorsement because she "went on vacation during slating." lacking an independent power base, this may be a fatal blow to santos' re-election hopes. finishing out those who submitted their petitions during the opening minute is mariyana spyropoulos, who has already blogged here. completing the democratic primary is ronald oliver of chicago, marlon rush of lansing, matthew podgorski of park ridge, and derrick stinson of chicago.

every single candidate for the mwrd has been challenged. i'm unfamiliar with more than half of these candidates, so i'll let someone else create the odds: "The outlook: Jones, Meany and O'Reilley are the early favorites, primarily because of their gender and surnames."

finally, the green party has put together a full slate of candidates for the mwrd: nadine bopp, rita bogolub and john ailey. these candidates have also had their filings challenged.


Anonymous said...

The Ballot order for Democratic MWRD candidates is incorrect, the correct order is:

1 Mariyana Spyropoulos
2 Kathleen Therese Meany
3 Frank Avila
4 Dean T. Maragos
5 Cynthia M. Santos
6 Kathleen Mary O’Reilley
7 Diane Jones
8 Ronald Oliver
9 Marlon Rush
10 Matthew Podgorski
11 Derrick David Stinson

Ballot places 1 through 7 were chosen through lottery (they submitted petitions by 9AM on the first day of submissions) and ballot places 8 through 11 were determined by order of submitting petitions (these petitions were submitted after 9AM of the first day to submit).

bored now said...

i took the order from david orr's website. if there's a discrepency, i don't know why...

Anonymous said...

The link you provided shows the candidates that filed by 9AM in alphabetical order (Avila and Maragos are part of the slate but since Meany is the first name on the slate they use her name which is why she is after Jones). You can look up the lottery results ( ) for the first 7 candidates and look up election filings ( to determine the order of the candidates that filed after 9AM.

Just trying to be helpful.


Anonymous said...

This is one of those races where name recognition and newspaper endorsements carry the most weight. Odds are that Avila will get endoresed by the Trib. The other two Tribune ensoresments are up for grabs. But odds are Podgorski will have an edge to get it because he is a college professor and environmentalist.

Grad student said...

I had the pleasure to meet Matthew Podgorski and his wife at a small rally in protest of the British Petroleum dumping in nearby Whiting IN. My conversation with this young professor who is a MWRD candidate was enough to convince me that he is exactly what Cook County politics needs --New Blood.

Anonymous said...

"The outlook: Jones, Meany and O'Reilley are the early favorites, primarily because of their gender and surnames." that quote comes from Russel Stewarts column in the Nadig Press, He is the Attorney for Kathleen Mary O’Reilley and they are challenging all the other candidates, I think Nadig Press should put some kind of disclosure when the reporters are getting paid by candidates and pretending to be objective writers.
My prediction for the top 3 is Mariyana Spyropoulos
Kathleen Therese Meany
Frank Avila

bored now said...

while i agree that stewart should disclose his association with any candidate he discusses, his reasoning (in this case) is as good as any other. we have three incumbents, another candidate who ran in 2006 (and got slated this time), as well as some other candidates that promise to be competitive.

i think it's too early to make educated predictions; i think i'll wait to see a.) how much money these candidates raise, and b.) whether any of these candidates campaign throughout the whole of cook county before i start making predictions. add to that the fact that there's only a couple of black candidates in this race, and if the black (and the thornton township) committeemen unify behind one candidate (such as jones), i suspect that would throw a wrench into your prediction of two white women and a man...

Anonymous said...

There are actually 4 black candidates for MWRD: Jones, Oliver, Stinson, and Rush. There are only 2 white males: Podgorski and Maragos. Only one hispanic: Avila, but Santos has a hispanic name, even though she is white.

I agree it is very early to predict, but knowing that race, the newspaper endorsements are huge.

bored now said...

thanks for the correction...

Anonymous said...

The "Machine Plant" John T Kelly is the biggest joke in all of Illinois politics. He can usullay be found planted in the 111th Street bar his wife co-owns drinking away profits..(notice his increase in size lately) hitting on women while the mother of his six children is oblivios of his extramarital activities. His McMansion he recently built had some questionable workers (ie illgal immigrants.) He would provide such great newspaper fodder on his extra curricular activities.

Judy said...

My prediction is:
Mariyana Spyropoulos
Frank Avila
Diane Jones

the 1st and 3rd are sure votes for Deb Shore for President
Avila isn't certain
Avila will win because he is the only engineer and get endorsements
Diane Jones will win because she is Black
Mariyana will win because she has Deb Shore's base

Anonymous said...

MWRD Remaining candidates

45 Mariyana T. Spyropoulos
46 Kathleen Therese Meany
47 Frank Avila
48 Dean T. Maragos
49 Cynthia M. Santos
51 Diane Jones
54 Matthew Podgorski
55 Derrick David Stinson

Anonymous said...

My predictions for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Commissioners positions.

47 Frank Avila
51 Diane Jones
54 Matthew Podgorski

These are my three picks.

ONE- Frank Avila, as he is a returning player who is big in the hispanic community (he needs to be more active in the district as he has been very quiet this past year, also age is catching up to him)

TWO - Diane Jones, who is quick with her answers to questions on why she is running, and what has she done in the past. Diane will get the female and black vote (that should be enough to override a questionable track record).

THREE - N.E.I.U. Professor
Matthew Podgorski will get the youth vote as he just under 30 and has college students ready to rally for him. (He's married and recently became a dad, that could cost him a hundred votes) Also parents are lifelong F.O.P. & S.E.I.U. members this will add to his surprise finish.

The final comment is that the joke was on Kathleen Mary O’Reilley who challenged all 10 of her opponents and then got knock off the ballot herself.

What do they say about people who live in glass houses?