Tuesday, February 2, 2010

Orland Park candidate hopefuls fall short in statewide bids

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Two Orland Park candidates seeking statewide office, Jim Dodge for Comptroller and Dennis Cook for Illinois Lieutenant Governor, stumbled in their races, according to the early and unofficial election returns.

Judy Baar Topinka, the former state treasurer and candidate for governor, easily swept the comptroller's race blowing away Dodge and radio personality William Kelly. Dodge is an Orland Park Village Trustee and Cook is the School Board President of District 230.

And early election result suggest that incumbent Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth "Liz" Doody Gorman, who led the fight to roll back Todd Stroger's 1 cent sales tax, will face fellow Orland Park challenger Pat Maher, the president of the controversy-plagued Orland Fire Protection District and son of Orland Park Village Clerk Dave Maher. The vote totals in the Democratic and Republican primary races were close, although in this election, the contentious Democratic race for Governor and Cook County board drew many Republicans to cross over into the Democratic race.

Gorman easily won her race for Orland Township Committeeman over Gerald Maher, a former two-time candidate for Orland Park Mayor.

Jeff Junkas rallied his Republican conservative base to defeat a fellow Republican Molly McAvoy Flynn to win the Republican primary to challenge State Rep. Kevin McCarthy. But the vicious accusations in the Republican contest will certainly leave scars to weaken the challenge of McCarthy. The issue between Junkas and Flynn is that they were both Democratic plants, according to each side, yet both have voted Democratic in the past.

I fJunkas can pull the Republican Party together, he might be able to pull off a substantive challenge to McCarthy, but the animosity driven during the election might not make that possible.

Click here for the Cook County Clerk's updated election results.

-- Ray Hanania

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