The contest to represent the Cook County Board’s 17th District in the March 18 Republican primary pits conservative challenger Barbara Bellar of Burr Ridge against Elizabeth Doody Gorman of Orland Park, seeking her fourth term.
Gorman, 49, said she’s seeking re-election to continue her push for reform on the County Board.
“There’s been no other time in recent memory where Cook County has made such positive strides in reform than over the last four years,” Gorman said. “Yes, it’s definitely a bipartisan effort, but it’s also due to my continuing effort to reform the tax and fee measures where I can in Cook County.”
Gorman points to her leadership in rolling back the 1 percent sales tax pushed by Todd Stroger.
“It was a regressive tax pushing consumers out of Cook County to purchase things from big ticket items to gas and cigarettes,” she said.
More recently, Gorman said she worked to reduce the motor vehicle transfer tax for older model cars, which makes a difference for young adults and others buying used cars. The rate for cars less than three years old remains at $225, but now drops to $175 for cars 4 to 8 years old and to $90 for cars 9 years and older.
Previously, owners paid a transfer tax of $200 on cars 6 to 10 years old and $175 on cars 11 years and older.
If re-elected, Gorman said she would seek to secure the county’s long-term financial health through growing jobs and relieving the tax burden. A second priority is to invest in technology to improve the efficiency and lower the cost of government.
A third goal, Gorman said, is to continue work on the flood mitigation issue, particularly along the Des Plaines River and through Westchester, impacted by Salt Creek.
The 17th District stretches from Des Plaines and Park Ridge, along Interstate 294 through Westchester, Western Springs, La Grange, LaGrange Park, Indian Head Park, eastern Hinsdale and Burr Ridge, and south through the southwestern suburbs, which is Gorman’s home base. She also is seeking re-election as the Orland Township Republican Committeeman.
Gorman said she’s pleased to have received endorsements from township Republican organizations, except for Elk Grove Township, comprised of five precincts and an industrial park.
Bellar, a physician and attorney, ran unsuccessfully twice against Democrat Bill Cunningham for the state Senate’s 18th District in 2012 and the 35th House District in 2010.
Bellar did not return repeated requests by phone and email for an interview.
Her website, www.electbellar.com, said she is against raising or adding taxes and seeks a balanced budget, budget reform and pension reform. She supports transparency, accountability and ethics reform in government.
Bellar’s site said she is an advocate of small business, job creation and fiscal responsibility. It states she is pro-life, pro-Second Amendment and supports home schooling, veterans and traditional family values.