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CCFB News» March 2020

Manifolds, Manolos, and Manure

03/01/2020 @ 2:15 pm | By Bona Heinsohn, CAE

Since 2010, Cook County Farm Bureau® has operated a Political Action Committee (PAC) designed to support candidates who are supportive of the policies, priorities and mission of the Farm Bureau while promoting the economic and social well-being of farmers and farm-related interests in Cook County.


Since its inception, the PAC has made 54 endorsements. Not all incumbents. Not all challengers.  Not all major party candidates. But candidates who Governance Committee members felt would make the largest impact in their district and the county.


Members of the Cook CFB PAC Governance Committee are charged with making endorsements.  When considering a candidate, members consider the results of the candidates’ interviews, questionnaires, support of Farm Bureau policies, and when applicable, voting record. 


Of the candidates running for Cook County office, Governance Committee members interviewed candidates for Cook County Clerk, State’s Attorney, Board of Review and Metropolitan Water Reclamation District.


Four years ago, Cook CFB PAC endorsed then incumbent Anita Alvarez over Donna More and Kim Foxx. Four years ago, the PAC passed on endorsing Foxx due to her lack of prosecutorial experience and the fact that she served as Preckwinkle’s Chief of Staff during the county’s largest sales tax increase. Cook County Farm Bureau strongly opposed and actively worked against the sales tax increase. Political newcomer Bill Conway is a fresh face and has new ideas. For Cook CFB PAC, its Donna More. More brings a wealth of knowledge and experience to the race and is natural fit for the office. More will take the politics out of the State’s Attorney Office.   


On the Republican ticket for State’s Attorney there are two highly qualified candidates vying for votes. Christopher Pfannkuche is a pilot and an experienced litigator, author and trainer. For Cook CFB PAC, it’s Patrick ‘Pat’ O’Brien. O’Brien, like Pfannkuche, is a skilled litigator but he’s also a mentor and a leader and what the State’s Attorney’s office needs most is a leader.


Four years ago, Cook CFB PAC railed against then incumbent Dorothy Brown and the numerous investigations, allegations and missteps. Under her leadership the office has continued to dog technology upgrades and electronic filing advancements and for these reasons and many more Cook CFB PAC endorsed Jacob Meister. Unfortunately, Meister was unsuccessful in 2016. This round he faces off against former Commissioner Richard Boykin, Board of Review Commissioner Michael Cabonargi and Senator Iris Martinez. All four candidates would be a radical step forward.  For Cook CFB PAC its Jacob Meister. Meister is a longtime attorney and has successfully litigated cases in state and federal courts throughout the country. His experience has given him extensive knowledge of how different court systems are operated and how the Cook County court system should run. Meister was also the only candidate of the four who challenged Brown rather than waiting for a Brown free contest.


Cook CFB PAC opted not to make an endorsement in the Democratic primary for Cook County Board of Review, first district.


The race for Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD) is crowded. Newcomers Mike Cashman, Patricia Theresa Flynn and Eria Corral Sepulveda are outstanding candidates with new ideas and will be outstanding leaders. However, in this race for Cook CFB PAC it’s the three incumbents- Frank Avila, Cameron ‘Cam’ Davis and Kimberly Dubuclet- who truly stood out.  Avila is an engineer with a wealth of experience. Davis was a standout candidate two years ago and remains committed to working with partners, including Farm Bureau to improve the environment. Two years ago, Cook CFB PAC endorsed Dubuclet citing her legislative experience and although the Illinois General Assembly is different than the MWRD, her experience and contacts makes her an excellent commissioner. 


Members are reminded to vote on March 17.

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