Incumbent Elizabeth Doody Gorman said she believes she won the Republican nomination for the 17th District Cook County Board seat because she ran an issue-oriented campaignagainst someone who wanted to make it negative.
“I’ve been fighting for tax reform and will continue to work for the taxpayers who have put me in a position to be their reasonable voice on the Cook County Board,” Gorman said.
Unofficial returns show Gorman with 13,180 votes, or 59 percent of the ballots cast, compared to Barbara Bellar with 9,051 votes, or 41 percent.
Gorman hardly took time to celebrate her own success while awaiting returns at Bruce Rauner’s eventual victory celebration in the gubernatorial race.
“There was such excitement. People are just ecstatic,” Gorman said. “I think he’s got the right message. The state is in shambles, and we’ve had such a sad state of affairs.”
Gorman said people appreciate his message of better schools and more jobs. She spoke in favor of his choice of running mate, Sanguinetti, who can broaden the party’s base.
“I was in the second row. There was no teleprompter,” Gorman said of Rauner’s spirited victory speech. “It was all from the heart.”
In November, Gorman faces Jim Hickey of Orland Park, president of the Orland Fire Protection District Board, who was unopposed as the Democratic candidate for the 17th District. Hickey expressed interest but didn’t run for the 2nd Congressional seat vacated by Jesse Jackson Jr. Hickey lost to Bill Foster in the 2012 primary for the 11th Congressional District.
Gorman said she represents a heavily Republican district and isn’t overly concerned about a challenge from Hickey.
“I’m confident the primary was a bigger obstacle, but nonetheless, I won’t take it for granted,” she said.
Turnout was estimated at 11.6 percent, or 26,098 of 224,378 registered voters in the district which 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 won reelection as the Orland Township Republican Committeeman.
Gorman was endorsed by Lyons Township Republicans March 1 and a number of other township Republican organizations, she said, except for Elk Grove Township.