By Chinta Strausberg
When former Cook County Board President went before the Cook County Democratic endorsement committee last Tuesday, he received a great deal of support for a vacant seat on the Water Reclamation District (MWRD) from both city and suburban ward committeemen with the exception of three African Americans.
It was there that 52-year-old Stroger presented his credentials to run for a vacant two-year Water Reclamation District seat. The 30-member endorsement committee is made up of city and suburban ward committeemen. When the votes were tallied, Stroger said he had more votes than Tom Greenhaw who ultimately won the endorsement.
Stroger said he received support from Thornton Township Supervisor Frank Zuccarelli and 9th Ward Committeeman Antony Beale who voted in favor of Stroger for the two-year term, but the weighted vote fell short.
â€œAll the African American ward committeemen supported me for the two-year-term including the south suburban committeemen except three African Americans,â€ Stroger said referring to Fourth Ward Committeemen Toni Preckwinkle (4th) who defeated Stroger in 2010, Fifth Ward Committeeman Leslie Hairston (5th) and 7th Ward Committeeman Natasha Holmes who lost her aldermanic seat in the last election.
After consulting with his political strategists, Stroger said, â€œWe decided to withdraw my name for the two-year term. I am running for the six-year Water Reclamation District term.â€
After the vote, Stroger said, â€œI am not surprised. For the past five-years, Preckwinkle has been trying to prove that the county was in bad shape. It doesnâ€™t benefit her to be positive about me.â€
Undaunted by the opposition votes, Stroger said, â€œI am not going to let this stop me. One thing the Democratic Party depends on and that is the black minority vote to get people elected. There is no way I will not be one of three candidatesâ€ elected on March 16, 2016.
Stroger, who once worked for three summers at the MRWD said, â€œI know a lot about the District.Â I have a good working knowledge of the MRWD. The Water Reclamation District is a public health issue,â€ said Stroger. â€œItâ€™s about separating water and contaminates and putting the clean water back. Clean water is the main goal.â€
The next day, the full 80-member Cook County Democratic Central Committee met and voted by weighted vote. The committee endorsed a slate for the March 15, 2016 primary that includes: Hillary Clinton for president, Chicago City Clerk Susana Mendoza for Illinois State Comptroller, but Democrats opened for an open primary for the U.S. Senate race because the five candidates failed to get enough votes.
Those five senatorial candidates are: Andrea Zopp, U.S. Rep. Tammy Duckworth, Susana Sandoval, Illinois Senator Napoleon Harris and Cook County Board Comm. Richard Boykin.
While Stateâ€™s Attorney Anita Alvarez, Donna More, Kim Foxx and Cook County Board Comm. John Fritchey presented their credentials before the committee, the party made no endorsement in the states attorney race.
However, the party did endorse the following incumbents: Dorothy Brown for Clerk of the Circuit Court and Karen Yarbrough for Recorder of Deeds. For the six-year terms for Water Reclamation District Commissioners, the party endorsed incumbents Barbara McGowan, Mariyana Spyropoulos and Josina Morita. The committeemen also endorsed Tom Greenhaw for the two-year term for the MWRD.
On the judicial level, the party endorsed Justice Bertina Lampkin and Judge Eileen Oâ€™Neill Burke for the Appellate Court. The alternates selected were: Associate Judge William Boyd, Judge Raul Vega and Associate Judge Leonard Murray.
For the Cook County Board of Review, 2nd District, the party endorsed incumbent Comm. Michael Cabonargi.
Also endorsed were the following for Circuit Court judge: Judge Alison Conlon, Judge Daniel Patrick Duffy, Judge Rossana Fernandez, Judge Alexandra Gillespie; Maureen Oâ€™Donoghue Hannon; Judge John Fitzgerald Lyke, Jr., Brendan Oâ€™Brien and Judge Devlin Joseph Schoop.
The alternates selected by the party were: Fredrick Bates, Sean Chaudhuri, Patrick Heneghan, Nichole Patton and Peter Michael Gonzalez.
Chinta Strausberg is a Journalist of more than 33-years, a former political reporter and a current PCC Network talk show host. You can e-mail Strausberg at: Chintabernie@aol.com.