Tuesday, March 18, 2014
Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth "Liz" Doody Gorman sailed to a 4th term election victory representing the 17th Cook County district over rightwing Tea Party challenger Barbara Bellar.
Gorman, who has played an instrumental role in building the candidacy of Bruce Rauner as the Republican Party's choice for governor, was projected to win with a heavy landslide margin of 60 percent, based on early voter returns. The Rauner race was still close, as early numbers showed him leading State Sen. Kirk Dillard by about 3 to 5 percent, although the numbers were still early for the governor's race when Gorman claimed victory.
A champion of taxpayer rights, Gorman attributed a part of her victory to the "sloppy, garbled robocall" that former Cook County Commissioner Tony Peraica made on Bellar's behalf Sunday night. Some voters said that hearing Peraica's voice reminded them of everything that is wrong with politics, and pushed them to vote for Gorman, giving her the extra voter boost.
Voter turnout was projected as being extremely low statewide, but Gorman said that she appreciated all the support she received from voters.
Gorman made a name for herself as a champion of taxpayers when she singlehandedly led the fight to repeal the repressive Todd Stroger 1 Cent Cook County Sales Tax increase. Stroger won the tax hike with a large majority of support from the county board, despite Gorman's opposition. But Gorman continued to push for a repeal of the tax introducing several resolutions to demand it be withdrawn.
While most commissioner simply fell in line with Stroger, Gorman showed voters that it was possible to repeal the tax which cost taxpayers hundreds of thousands in added sales taxes each year. And as public opposition to the sales tax hike grew as a result of Gorman's efforts, other commissioners joined in untilt he sales tax was removed in two steps.
"I want to thank all of the voters for the mandate they have given me," Gorman said early Tuesday night. "I promise to continue to fight to represent the rights of the taxpayers."
Gorman also credited her victory over Bellar and Tea Party extremists to her refusal to respond to Peraica's and Bellar's campaign mud-slinging.
"Their robocall showed how desperate they really were. Voters don't want to listen to candidates who throw mud. They want their candidates to talk about the programs they plan to implemented when elected and that's what I focused on," Gorman said.
Gorman had received endorsements from every major newspaper, including one from the Chicago Tribune that acknowledged her role in repealing Stroger's hated sales tax increase. Click to read that story.
The night before on Monday, Gorman organized a huge rally at the Lexington House on 95th Street for Rauner that drew more than 500 attendees. Click her to view that story and video.
(Ray Hanania is an award winning former Chicago City Hall reporter an columnist. He is the editor of the Illinois News Network www.IllinoisNewsNetwork.com.)