Claypool announces independent bid for county assessor office

Cook County Commissioner Forrest Claypool announced he would mount an independent campaign for Cook County Assessor yesterday, setting up a battle between the reformer and Cook County Democratic party boss Joe Berrios for the position.

Graceland West resident Forrest Claypool announced he is launching an independent bid for the office of Cook County Assessor.

Graceland West resident Forrest Claypool announced he is launching an independent bid for the office of Cook County Assessor.

Surrounded by Congressmen Mike Quigley and Jesse Jackson, Jr., as well as Cook County Commissioner Bridget Gainer, Claypool, a resident of the Graceland West neighborhood, made his announcement at the Hotel Allegro in Downtown Chicago.

Claypool’s candidacy was recognized Tuesday morning by editorials in both the Chicago Sun-Times and the Chicago Tribune and was given a boost by complaints by current Cook County Assessor Jim Houlihan March 31 that Berrios was working to delay mailing Cook County property tax notices till after the November general election in a bid to defuse voter anger. Democrat Houlihan praised Claypool in that press conference.

Berrios, who currently serves on the Cook County Board of Review, was selected by the Democratic party to run for the Assessor position in the February 2nd primary, winning 39 percent of the vote in a three-way race. Claypool needs to file at least 25,000 valid signatures by June 21 to successfully run as an independent for the position. Signature gatherers were already working the loop Tuesday afternoon following Claypool’s announcement.

Republican candidate Sharon Strobeck-Eckersall and Green Party candidate Robert Grota are also running for the office.

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Patrick Boylan

About Patrick Boylan

Patrick grew up near LaFollette Park on the West Side. He contends that the very best Italian beef sandwiches are made on the West Side and has a strange love of the flat pizza from that part of the city. Patrick led The Bulldog to win seven journalism awards in 2011, including four awards to Patrick as a solo or a team member. He is very proud of The Dog's coverage of politics and schools in the neighborhood. Patrick wrote for the Times of Northwest Indiana as a stringer covering Cook County Government, for the Chicago Tribune as a stringer on the Chicago Wolves and for ChicagoNow as a writer before starting The Dog. He wrote for four years for as a media commentator and spent about 20 years in operations at city newspapers, including nine years as owner of his own distribution company. Prior to that he spent about nine years in public relations. Patrick has a Masters degree from the University of Colorado. He attended Eastern Illinois University for undergrad and Weber High School and St. Peter Canisius grammar school. The two-flat he owns was built in 1912 and has never been featured, to his knowledge, in any major motion pictures despite having a way-cool garden. Patrick purchased the property in 1994 and "couldn't afford to buy it now." His daughter is a college student in California. He lives in the house with his wife, Jane, and two cats who often sit in on his phone interviews.

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