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CCFB News» June 2022

Manifolds, Manolos, and Manure

06/06/2022 @ 8:15 am | By Bona Heinsohn, CAE

Since 2010, Cook County Farm Bureau® has operated a Political Action Committee (Cook CFB 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, Cook CFB PAC has made 72 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 office and in Cook County.


Members of the Cook CFB PAC Governance Committee are charged with making endorsements. When considering a candidate, members consider the results of the candidate’s 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 Commissioner, Assessor, Board of Review, and Metropolitan Water Reclamation District (MWRD).


Cook County Commissioner Debra Sims will retire after 28 years representing district five on the county board. District five includes portions of the City of Chicago and suburban Cook County. Governance Committee members interviewed all but one candidate in the race and were impressed with candidates’ excitement, depth of knowledge, and desire to serve. For Cook CFB PAC its Hazel Crest Village President and U.S. Air Force Veteran Vernard Alsberry, Jr. Also in the race are Monica Gordon, Jaylin McClinton, and Kierra Williams.


The seventeenth district of the county board is predominantly suburban and home to a vast number of Cook County farms. On the Republican ticket incumbent commissioner Sean Morrison is running for re-election. Commissioner Morrison has proven himself to be a tireless advocate for small businesses, public safety, and efficient government. For Cook CFB PAC its Commissioner Sean Morrison. Also in the race is Liz Gorman.


On the Democratic ticket, La Grange Village Trustee Lou Gale has lived throughout the district. He brings a wealth of knowledge and brings experience in both government and the private sector. Trustee Gale is an outstanding candidate. For Cook CFB PAC its Lou Gale. Also in the race is Daniel Calandriello.


Perhaps the most contested and controversial race this primary election is the race for Cook County Assessor. Incumbent Assessor Fritz Kaegi has spent the past four years cleaning up and reforming the assessor’s office. Cook CFB PAC believes that Assessor Kaegi deserves another four years. For Cook CFB PAC its Assessor Fritz Kaegi. Also in the race is MWRD President Kari Steele.


Two years ago, Cook CFB PAC endorsed Dan Patlak in the race for Board of Review district one. Unfortunately, Patlak was not successful in his re-election attempt. For the past two years the Board of Review has been plagued with in-fighting, finger pointing, and blatant nepotism. Chicago Alderman George Cardenas has the potential to remedy the situation. He comes with a wealth of experience, knowledge, and skill. For Cook CFB PAC its Alderman Cardenas. Also in the race is Tammy Wendt.


In fall of 2021, MWRD Commissioner Debra Shore was appointed to head the Environmental Protection Agency Region 5, one of the country’s largest offices overseeing air, water, and land pollution issues in Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, Minnesota, Ohio, and Wisconsin. Her appointment left a vacancy at MWRD. Chakena Perry was appointed to her seat in January, nearly three years after first joining MWRD Commissioner Josina Morita’s team. Commissioner Perry will be a strong advocate for environmental issues, community engagement, and open government. For Cook CFB PAC its Commissioner Chakena Perry. Also in the race are Daniel ‘Pogo’ Pogorzelski and Elizabeth Joyce.


The June primary election will feature a competitive race for three six-year seats for the MWRD. Leading the race is incumbent Commissioner Mariyana Spyropoulos a tireless advocate for the environment and former MWRD President. Cook CFB PAC has previously endorsed Spyropoulos and continue to do so in 2022. Joining her is Sharon Waller, an expert in the field of sustainability and environmental engineer. Governance Committee members were most impressed with the reasonableness that she approaches business regulations in light of efforts to promote and protect the environment. On the note of engineering, engineer and former commissioner Frank Avila is also running for a seat. For Cook CFB PAC its Commissioner Mariyana Spyropoulos, Sharon Waller, and Frank Avila. Also in the race are Precious Brady-Davis, Yumeka Brown, Patricia Theresa Flynn, Rick Garcia, and Cristina Nonato.   


Members are reminded to vote early or on June 28.

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