Dart has edge for Cook County sheriff
Though this is a Chicago race, the discussion about it has been intense and interesting. A post on the race elicited nearly a hundred comments at Capitol Fax.
Tom Dart is a very capable guy with an impressive resume and track record, including being Mayor Daley's campaign manager. Dart served as a Cook County prosecutor and state representative and wanted to run for state A.G. in the last election but was shunted aside when House Speaker Madigan decided to place his daughter in the office.
Dart then ran for state treasurer against long odds with the Quad City's own Porter McNeil serving as his press guy. Dart lost to the very popular Judy Baar Topinka and then was ignored while other's got plumb appointments. Dart eventually ended up as chief of staff to Cook County Sheriff Mike Sheahan, who recently announced he was not going to seek office again, which in turn sparked the flurry of speculation about who would emerge as the front-runner for the office.
As noticed on Amy Allen's "Obiter Dictum", the Sun Times reports:
Cook County sheriff hopeful Tom Dart said Wednesday he has more than 70 percent of the weighted vote needed to secure the endorsement of the Cook County Democratic Central Committee when it meets next week.
"Those are just the people that I've spoken to personally," Dart said. "We feel pretty good."
Dart said Mayor Daley and Cook County Board President John Stroger "have been very helpful."
"The unions -- I've talked to them," Dart said. "They are supporting me. . . . We've got a lot of momentum. People see that we've got it together."
Dart, 43, is the chosen successor of Sheriff Michael Sheahan, who stunned the local political world Monday when he announced he would not seek re-election. Dart, a former state representative from the Southwest Side's 19th Ward, is Sheahan's chief of staff.