Tuesday, June 21, 2011

Russ Stewart: "No whites win" in Cook County's 2012 Democratic primary...

A variety of races mentioned in this column starting with the Cook County State's Attorney, Clerk of the Circuit Court, Recorder of Deeds, and the race we're focusing on in this post Water Reclamation District:
Metropolitan Water Reclamation District: Better to say nothing and be thought a fool than to say something and prove it. That modified truism applies to ambitious office holders who cultivate the image of "political powerhouse": If you run and lose embarrassingly for another office, you prove you're not.

That's O'Brien's problem. First elected commissioner in 1988 and elected water district president in 1996 by a vote of the nine commissioners, O'Brien was perpetually boomed as a future mayor or board president. In 2010 he took the plunge and got a measly 131,896 votes (23 percent of the total) in the board president primary against three black candidates, Toni Preckwinkle (who got 50 percent), Brown (14.4 percent) and incumbent Stroger (13.6 percent). At least half the white vote broke for Preckwinkle.

Along with O'Brien, Commissioners Debra Shore and Patricia Horton are facing nomination. Horton, who is black, saw her prospects evaporate when her mentor, Rickey Hendon, quit politics. Black committeemen will support Kari Steele, the daughter of a former alderman and judge, who finished fourth in 2010. Barbara Moore, the wife of 49th Ward Alderman Joe Moore who heads the ward's Green Corps organization, is generating support. Shore, aligned with the North Shore "machine," run by U.S. Representative Jan Schakowsky and husband, Bob Creamer, has strong ties to gays, environmentalists and feminists, and she will run first, as she did in 2006.

Having proven himself a paper tiger in 2010, O'Brien will be in real jeopardy in 2012.
Could that support by Black committeemen throughout Cook County translate into a victory for Kari Steele next year?

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