Friday, April 10, 2009

Orland not out of the woods on contested elections: Patrick Maher to run for County Commissioner

Pat Maher is the president of the Orland Fire Protection District. Under his tenure, the district has tightened up its finances, although there has been some controversy. But Maher has huge support from not only his father, David Maher, who is the Orland Park Village Clerk, but also from the growing Democratic organization that gave Mayor Dan McLaughlin and his father's slate an overwhelming victory this past Tuesday (April 7).

The rumors have been around for months that Patrick Maher was planning to run for higher office, and the one most discussed is the office of Cook County Commissioner in the 17th District, which is now held by County Board Commissioner Elizabeth Doody Gorman. Gorman was elected commission in 2002 and was re-elected in 2006 with an overwhelming voter support. Click to read Gorman's bio?

(If you visit you can hear a brief interview with Gorman that we did this past week, and also the audio of the fight the Todd Stroger taxes forum March 30 we organized in Orland Park that Commissioner Gorman attended and participated in as panel member.)

This week, Maher has confirmed that he is strongly leaning towards running for commissioner challenging Gorman in the November 2010 elections, telling me he is "75 percent sure" he will run.

But, it's not official. Maher will have a fundraiser on May 15th where he is planning to make a formal announcement on his decision. Click here to read Maher's bio.

This is going to be a tough race. But, Commissioner Gorman will not be an easy incumbent to unseat. She has a strong organization and a strong record. That campaign is going to start fast. Stay tuned for more details.

Asked about the reports, Gorman said she was aware of Maher's intentions, smartly responding, “The Chicago Tribune hailed me for being one of the hardest working Commissioners in Cook County and being on the right side of the issues, standing up to Stroger and his tax increases. I look forward to a positive campaign and welcome Pat to the race. This gives me the opportunity to work even harder for the expansive district that I have the privilege of representing.”

The 17th District is huge also encompasses O'Hare International Airport. It is 47 miles in length and 17 miles at its widest point and encompasses mainly the Republican suburbs. Gorman is a Republican. Maher is a Democrat.

(We spoke with Pat Maher this morning on "Mornings with Ray Hanania" about his possible candidacy and the interview audio will be podcast also on the web site at:

-- Ray Hanania

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