Thomas McGill

Thomas McGill

Campaign 2022: Garfield Ridge man to run for state senate

McGill to focus on law enforcement issues

By Bob Bong

As it turns out, Democratic state Senate candidate Mike Porfirio looks like he will face a Republican challenger in November’s general election.

Porfirio, a Lyons Township trustee, had filed to run for the 11th Illinois Senate seat on the same day incumbent Sen. Steve Landek withdrew from the race.

There was no Republican candidate on the June 28 ballot.

ThomasMcGill2022

Thomas McGill

All that changed last week when Cook County and Chicago Republican leaders filed petitions to run a candidate in the 11th Senate race and dozens more in races that the GOP had left vacant including all of the top Cook County posts.

Garfield Ridge resident Thomas “Mac” McGill is the Republican who filed to challenge Porfirio in November. He’s a former Cook County Sheriff’s Police investigator, according to his Twitter account.

Positioning himself as a pro-police candidate, McGill told the Clear-Ridge Reporter he plans to use his campaign to focus on four specific pieces of legislation:

  • HB 5712, a bill to recall Cook County State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.
  • HB 3653, a bill to reform law enforcement agencies across the state.
  • SB 1609, a measure concerning bail for those accused of crimes.
  • HB 3332, a rent subsidy bill.

McGill said he will speak in greater details about the bills in the weeks ahead.

Some other local folks also filed to run in November.

  • Rob Cruz, who was kicked off the Oak Lawn School District 229 board earlier this year and ran unsuccessfully for the Republican nomination in the 6thCongressional District in June, is now on the ballot in the Board of Review 1stDistrict. He’ll face off with 12th Ward Ald. George Cardenas, who beat incumbent Tammy Wendt in the Democratic primary.
  • Anna Biedrzycki, of Palos Hills, will take on incumbent Cook County Commissioner Donna Miller in the 6thDistrict.
  • Palos Heights’ Todd Thielmann, who happens to be Wendt’s cousin and worked for her at the Board of Review, is running for Cook County Assessor against Democrat Fritz Kaegi.
  • Peter Costa, of Palos Park, and James Staszcuk, of Orland Park, both filed for South Palos Township Sanitary District trustee.

Orland Park’s Beth O’Neil is running against state Rep. Justin Slaughter in the 27th House District.

  • Republicans also filed to run locally in the 17thSenate race. Anthony Wilson, of Chicago, will take on Elgie Sims. Lupe Castillo, of Chicago, will challenge Edgar Gonzalez Jr. in the 23rdHouse District. Matthew O’Keefe, of Chicago, is running against Emil Jones III in the 14th Senate race. Thomas Hurley, of LaGrange Park, will challenge LaShawn Ford in the 8th House race. Carlos Alvarez will take on Angie Guerrero-Cuellar in the 22nd District.

Two of the Republican candidates at the county level are former Democrats. Former Chicago alderman and frequent candidate Bob Fioretti will now carry the Republican banner in the race for County Board president. He unsuccessfully challenged Toni Preckwinkle in the past as a Democrat.

Another former Dem joining Fioretti on the Republican slate is a veteran of county politics, attorney Tony Peraica. He filed to run for Cook County clerk and against incumbent Karen Yarbrough. He’s the former Cook County Commissioner for the 16th District. He lost the seat in 2010 to Jeff Tobolski.

Businessman Peter Kopsaftis is running for Treasurer, and Chicago Police Department Detective Lupe Aguirre will take on incumbent Sheriff Tom Dart.

In all, the Cook County Republican Party and Chicago Republican Party slated more than 30 candidates including 11 women and 16 minority candidates. They are seeking three Board of Review seats, nine Cook County Commissioner seats, seven Illinois Senate seats and 17 Illinois House seats.

The party recruited candidates and collected over 8,000 signatures in just a 16-day period.

“We are very proud of the efforts of our candidates and volunteers who stepped up to collect over 8,000 signatures in just 14 days to place the largest number of Republican candidates running in Cook County in more than a generation. Cook County voters are demanding a choice at the ballot box. They will now have a clear choice in November,” stated Cook County GOP Chairman Sean Morrison in a release.

“We believe the citizens of Cook County should be given a choice and let them decide,” he added.

He did not respond to phone calls or emails asking for further comment.

Tim Hadac contributed to this story.

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