Tuesday, October 20, 2009

2nd Maher throws hat in for Cook County board ... and Orland Township committeeman

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Gerald Maher, who was soundly defeated in a bid to unseat Orland Park Mayor Dan McLaughlin last Spring, has turned his sights against his own Republican Party and is soliciting signatures to challenge Elizabeth “Liz” Doody Gorman both as Cook County Commissioner and the GOP Committeeman.

Maher, a Republican, believes he didn’t get enough support from Gorman and the Orland Township Republican Party in his bid to unseat McLaughlin and even alleged that Gorman backed McLaughlin.

McLaughlin, a union communications director, is also the Democratic Committeeman of Orland Park. Here's how Maher and McLaughlin did in the past three elections:

2001
Dan McLaughlin      6771 votes
Gerald Maher          2704 votes

2005
Dan McLaughlin      9248 (unopposed)

2009
Dan McLaughlin      5427
Gerald Maher         3049

Gerald Maher denied his candidacy is intended to help the candidacy of Patrick Maher, the Orland Fire Protection District president and the son of Orland Park Village Clerk David Maher, a McLaughlin ally.

“I am running because I want to make a difference in the 17th Cook County District,” Maher said Tuesday during a telephone interview while soliciting signatures for his petitions. “Liz Gorman has been in office eight years and what has she done? Nothing. But absolutely, this has to do with her not supporting me and not doing what a committeeman is supposed to do when I ran for office.”

Maher said he is running for both positions that Gorman holds including Republican Committeeman for Orland Township.

Gorman, who has been leading the effort to repeal Cook County Board President Todd Stroger’s oppressive 1 percent Sales Tax, scoffed at Gerald Maher’s assertions.

“He’s a stalking horse,” she said. “I put out a mailer for every one who ran for office and the only group I endorsed who lost was Gerald Maher’s slate. The highest vote getter came from the Republican side and I am proud of that. I had him in the endorsement sheet and he didn’t even have a mailer,” Gorman said.

“At the end of the day, everyone will figure out that Gerald Maher is a disgruntled wannabe public official who is upset not because I and the Republican Party did not help him. He is upset because has tried repeatedly to win office and has been consistently rejected by the voters. ‘Liz Gorman’ didn’t make him lose. We did everything for him. He lost because the voters don’t like him. He did it to himself.”

Gorman also said that she finds it ironic that Gerald Maher and David Maher got into a high profile battle over who was using whose name to win votes. (Read the story on the Maher vs Maher name controversy?) She is referring to the letter that was published in the Orland Pairie newspaper just before the village election in which David Maher, the village clerk, blasted Gerald Maher for using their good name.

Gerald Maher said he despises the tactics David Maher used in the last election and he insisted his own candidacy is not an effort to boost David Maher’s son’s chances next year. He also denied that Gorman endorsed his candidacy, but Gorman showed me her Township GOP brochure that in fact did include Maher's Ad, discounted.

“Is my candidacy a plus or minus for Pat Maher. I see it as an absolute minus. Contrary to what his father claims, I have been to Tipperary, Ireland and that is where the Maher name originates,” Gerald Maher said.

“They don’t pronounce it Mah-her there. They pronounce it ‘Maer.’ That name belongs to me as much as it does anyone else. For them to think they have the ownership of that name is na├»ve at best. Is it helping Pat Maher? Absolutely not. It is just the opposite.”

In an unexpected move, Gerald Maher's brother Robert Maher announced his unequivocal support for Gorman, blasting his brother and blaming him for his own election defeat. Robert Maher served as Orland Township Supervisor and was ousted in the April 7 elections by Democrat Paul O'Grady.

"I lost the election to Paul O'Grady mainly because my brother Gerald ran against Mayor McLaughlin and that caused a lot of confusion. But I think worst of all is my brother Gerald ran a terrible race," Robert Maher said in a telephone interview.

"I want to make it clear that I wholeheartedly support Liz Gorman's re-election for the Cook County Board and for Republican Committeeman. She has led the fight to repeal the 1 percent sales tax and to challenge County Board President Todd Stroger. She could not have done more for me in my election bid and I believe she is one of the most effective Republican leaders and county commissioners we have."

Patrick Maher is expected to file next week for the office of County Board in the Democratic Primary. He is expected to face Dr. Victor Forys in the February primary election. The winners of the Democratic and Republican primaries will face-off in the November 2010 general elections.

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