Is Cook County going Dem?

Cook County has long been a Dem stronghold. While the statewide and national trends appear to be favoring Republicans, it also looks like the Dems are making a serious run at picking up more seats on the Cook County board.

Races with the most money are those with a Republican incumbent and a Dem (and sometimes Green) challenger. In the 17th, incumbent Liz Gorman faces Democrat Patrick Maher and Green Matthew Ogean. Gorman shows $151K for the general, while Maher reports $128K. Ogean has not formed a committee. Money isn't the only factor; this is the part of Cook County where Democrat Brendan Houlihan won the traditional Republican seat on the Board of Review four years ago. Maybe there's a broader shift going on here.

In the neighboring 16th, incumbent Republican Tony Peraica shows just $45K for the general. His Democratic challenger, McCook mayor Jeff Tobolski, shows $255K, a better than 5:1 advantage. As in the 17th, the Green candidate, Alejandro Reyes, has not yet formed a committee. Here, too, one should remember that money is only one resource in a campaign, and there may be more happening than the campaign finance reports indicate.

The biggest race, if you call it that, is in the 9th, where incumbent Republican Peter Silvestri shows $317K. His sole challenger, Democrat Cary Capparelli, reports $26K. Incumbents often do not spend all that they have available, so it's hard to say just yet whether this one will see significant spending.

Other notes on Cook races:

Edwin Reyes is the Democratic nominee for the 8th District seat on the Cook County Board. He's running unopposed. But he is still on the ballot, which makes it odd that he filed non-participation for the November general. Until he files, we won't know how much he's raised since July 1, or from whom. Just because he has no opponent doesn't mean the public has no right to know about his campaign finances.

There's a neat stair-step thing with fundraising in the race for Cook County Board President. Toni Preckwinkle raised about as much in small donations from individuals as Republican Roger Keats raised in total, and Keats, in turn, raised about as much from small individual donors as Green Tom Tresser raised in total. Preckwinkle reports $25K in non-itemized receipts on her pre-election report, all told, she shows $1M for the General Election.. Republican Roger Keats shows $4K in individual non-itemized giving, and $31K total, while Green Tom Tresser reports just $4K in total. Significant non-itemized contributions can sometimes be taken as an early sign of voter support, assuming that they come from voters in the district. On that basis, Republican Bill Brady's $204K in non-itemized individual contributions compares favorably with Democrat Pat Quinn's $40K in non-itemized individual contributions.