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Former GOP allies to battle for county board race

Gorman wants to reclaim seat from Morrison

By Bob Bong

A battle royale is brewing in the race for the Republican nomination for Cook County Board’s 17th District.

The 17th District is one of only two county board seats held by Republicans and it has only ever had a Republican commissioner dating back to Herb Schumann who was elected commissioner in 1994 when the board switched from at-large seats to districts. It is considered to be a safe Republican seat on the county board.

Elizabeth “Liz” Doody-Gorman, of Orland Park, replaced Schumann in 2002 and held the seat until 2015, when she resigned and was replaced by Sean Morrison, with her backing. Morrison won a full term in 2018.

Now, Gorman, who also serves as Republican committeeman for Orland Township, wants her seat back and Morrison is not ready to step aside.

On Monday, Gorman announced she was running for the Republican nomination in the June primary.

Liz Gorman Official Photo

Liz Gorman

“I’m a proud Republican, a smart Republican and someone who knows we can strengthen the Republican Party by attracting more voters, expanding the GOP base, and embracing commonsense, smart candidates for office,” she said in a release.

“I repealed the Stroger Sales Tax by building a bipartisan coalition,” said Gorman who is often described as a “tax-slayer.” She also led battles on the county board to block tax hikes on telephones, electricity, and gasoline. And, she forced a reduction in the Motor Vehicle Transfer Tax.

Morrison, of Palos Heights, announced last week that he was running for re-election. He later accused Gorman of being a Democratic dupe and a disloyal Republican.

“Unfortunately, I must report that Orland Township GOP Committeeperson, Liz Gorman, has decided to run against me in the Republican Primary for 17th District, Cook County Commissioner,” he said in a release. “It’s no secret to anyone that Liz Gorman is, and has long been, highly compromised by, and beholden to, the Preckwinkle, Madigan, and Pritzker Democrat Machine.

Sean Morrison 1

Sean Morrison

“Over the years, Liz Gorman has consistently demonstrated her Republican contempt through underhanded tactics and disloyalty to those who’ve supported her for over two decades — most recently, not slating Republican candidates for numerous local offices, including Orland Township Board where Republicans should have a voter majority. In fact, since 2005 — and over the last five township election cycles — Gorman has blocked and refused to slate Republican candidates, allowing Democrats a free pass every time.”

He also said Gorman backed a rival slate that ran against Orland Park Mayor Keith Pekau in last April’s municipal election. Pekau’s slate swept all of the seats being contested.

In response, Gorman called Morrison “weak” noting that he has admitted his own failure as a public servant when he calls himself in his own news release a “lone member” on the Cook County Board.

“The difference between Sean Morrison and myself is that he puts partisan politics over the interests of the people. He says he is a Republican but I am a smart Republican who is not only proud of the GOP but who recognizes that Republicans are an important voice in delivering public services to taxpayers,” Gorman said.

“In order to deliver for this district, the Cook County Commissioner must know how to work with everyone. Morrison doesn’t get it.”

Gorman said that she is being encouraged to run by Republican voters who believe Morrison has failed to deliver services to taxpayers and has abandoned “basic Republican principles” by aligning himself with extreme political elements.

“Morrison’s only success is that he succeeded in isolating himself and the people he represents,” said Gorman.

“My commitment is to put the interests of taxpayers, homeowners, seniors, youth and our businesses first above partisan politics. My job is to serve all residents of the district, not just the ones who agree with my political views. My job is to protect the taxpayers.”

Gorman said Morrison made himself a “lone member” by refusing to work with others resulting in isolating the district at a great cost to taxpayers.”

“He can’t work with anyone and that puts the district in jeopardy and undermines taxpayer interests. I never considered myself a lone member because I know how to work with everyone to get taxpayers the services they deserve,” Gorman said.

The 17th District is huge and runs from Orland Park to O’Hare Airport. It takes in portions of Bremen, Lemont, Lyons, Orland, Palos and Worth townships. Local communities located in the 17th District include Brookfield, Chicago, Countryside, Hickory Hills, Hodgkins, Indian Head Park, Justice, La Grange Park, Orland Park, Orland Hills, Palos Heights, Palos Hills, Palos Park, Riverside, Worth and Willow Springs.

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