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Cook County Races Heat Up

By Kevin Robinson in News on Jan 21, 2008 10:00PM

The race for Cook County state's attorney has been hot and heavy in the past few weeks, with candidates taking plenty of shots at each other in a debate last week. (You can watch the debate here.)

2008_1_cook_seal.jpgThe race has also split up local democrats, as endorsements abound. Lt Governor Pat Quinn is supporting Anita Alvarez, saying "she happens to be a woman. She happens to be Hispanic. And she also happens to be the most qualified person. We have a chance to make history." And earlier this month mayoral wannabe Jesse Jackson Jr endorsed Larry Suffriden. That apparent slap to Howard Brookins hasn't gone unnoticed in the rest of the black political community, as Aldermen Emma Mitts (37th) and Issac Carothers (29th) joined Congressman Danny Davis in endorsing Brookins for the top prosecutors job. Meanwhile outgoing Cook County State's Attorney Dick Devine endorsed his second in command, First Assistant State's Attorney Robert Milan for the post. Even Chicago's two major dailies are divided, as the Sun-Times endorsed Suffriden last weekend, and the Tribune came out for Tom Allen this weekend.

The race for Cook County Recorder of Deeds, however, has been less tumultuous. The Chicago Tribune endorsed Ed Smith this weekend, who is challenging incumbent Eugene Moore. In their endorsement, the Tribune cited the fundamental reason Smith is running for the post: to put the Cook County Recorder of Deeds out of business.

Ald. Ed Smith (28th) would put taxpayers first. He says the recorder's job doesn't justify its existence as an elective office: "At its best, the current recorder's office is a visionless public body that merely shuffles paper. At its worst, the recorder's office is a patronage job basement warehouse that escapes the spotlight of public scrutiny because it is considered too low-profile to matter." ...In response to a Tribune questionnaire, Smith wrote, "I endorse the ultimate elimination of the Office of Recorder of Deeds" and creation of the merged tax office. And we, in turn, endorse Smith.

The Cook County primary for Recorder of Deeds, State's Attorney and Circuit Court Clerk is Tuesday, Feb 5.