Thursday, November 4, 2010
Orland Elections will be interesting
Dan McLaughlin easily won re-election in the April 7, 2009 consolidated elections. About 8,300 total votes were cast in the village races that also saw the re-elections of three incumbent trustees (are there any other kind these days?), Kathy Fenton, Brad O'Halloran and Jim Dodge, who later ran unsuccessfully for Illinois Comptroller in in the February 2010 Republican primary, losing to Judy Baar Topinka. Good Start, but bad campaign management.
In April, three more village seats will open, and rumors are that incumbent Bernie Murphy has decided to pull a Rich Daley and retire. Often criticized as "Dr. No"for voting no on a lot of legislation, his retirement opens the door to a new face.
McLauglin will probably find someone to slate, but John Fotopoulos, the Orland Park attorney who has run for office in the past, decided not to wait and he released his intention to run in a lean news release issued this morning.
It's nearly impossible to beat an incumbent. But that could change if Cook County Commissioner Liz Gorman decides to get involved. Gorman handily beat back Mark Thompson in the Republican Primary and Patrick Maher, the son of Village Clerk Dave Maher and the cousin of retiring Illinois Comptroller Dan Hynes -- yes the powerful Hynes clan that has seen some major political defeats in less than one year. (Had Hynes known that Daley was going to retire, too, maybe he would have not run for statewide office, saved his money and threw his hat in for Chicago mayor. He would have been a formidable candidate in a Chicago race, especially with the revival of the Chicago Machine.)
Presumably Ed Schussler and Patricia Gira will run for re-election. But petitions do not get filed until Nov. 15, ending on Nov. 22. That also means Mayor Daley still has time to change his mind, or forever hold his peace about the new Machine run by Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan and Chicago Finance Committee Chairman and Alderman Edward M. Burke.
Gorman could slate her own candidates and her involvement would be influential because many people see Maher's defeat as a major defeat of the Democratic Party and McLaughlins' rule. McLaughlin really had no choice and he had to endorse Patrick Maher, despite his undisclosed baggage -- misdemeanor conviction while in college. After all, Dave Maher is his party colleague.
But McLaughlin has always been a bit independent. And maybe he won't get involved in this election. So much campaign cash from his resources was lost in the Maher battle.
It will be interesting.
-- Ray Hanania