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Where The Heck Is Will County?

By vouchey in News on Dec 8, 2004 2:34PM

Will County Executive Larry Walsh, from IL SenateThe answer is down, and to the slight left, as you look at a Chicago map. Of the five Collar Counties, Will is the fastest growing, and not incidentally home of some of the biggest political power tussles in the Chicago area. All those changing demographics are breaking the Republican Party's long-time deadlock on power, and upsetting a lot of pols in the process.

The wedges in the Will County Democratic scrum are newly elected County Executive Larry Walsh and Will County State's Attorney James Glascow. Walsh, formerly a state senator, won his seat with 50.62%, and Glascow 51.84%. Their hold is tenuous at best, and Will County Republicans are fighting every step. But then, Walsh and Glascow aren't making it easy for the GOP either.

On Monday, the Will County Board got their first taste of an unfriendly County Executive when Walsh challenged a seemingly perfunctory government reorganization vote. And then yesterday in the State's Attorney's office, the dime was dropped on some rather large severence pay for outgoing political appointees.

Why does all this matter? Because Will County is well on track to one day becoming one of the biggest suburban counties in Illinois. Chicago and other big Northern cities will always be Blue, there's no doubt about that. So suburban counties are the battleground between Democrats and Republicans now, and Will County is looking to be a potential bellweather for what could become a national trend.