Tuesday, February 20, 2018 || By Michael Romain || @maywoodnews
Featured image: Yarbrough, left, with former Illinois governor Pat Quinn. | Cook County Recorder of Deeds
Karen Yarbrough — the current Cook County Recorder of Deeds and Maywood resident who is also the Proviso Township Democratic committeewoman — will likely run unopposed in the March 20 Democratic Primary to replace the retiring David Orr as Cook County Clerk.
Yarbrough’s only remaining challenger, La Grange attorney Jan Kawolski McDonald, was thrown off of the ballot by a three-person electoral board that sustained an objection brought against the candidate by Reginald Lamont Featherston, Sr.
The decision was made public in a case document dated Feb. 20. The board agreed with a hearing officer’s decision, which found that many of McDonald’s signatures were invalid, putting her below the minimum amount required to get on the ballot.
They ruled that her campaign engaged in a pattern of fraud while gathering petition signatures. In some instances, the board concluded, McDonald altered petition signers’ residences by removing the addresses that they wrote and replacing them with addresses that were in the voter registration database.
McDonald has the option of appealing the board’s decision to the circuit court, but it isn’t known whether or not she’ll exercise that right.
McDonald was the sole remaining challenger in what was once a three-way race to replace the outgoing county clerk, David Orr, who announced last June that he would not seek an eighth term.
Earlier this month, Stephanie Joy Jackson-Rowe, of River Forest, was knocked off of the ballot after the electoral board sustained an objection that was also made by Featherston, of Maywood.
Nick Shields, Orr’s director of communications, withdrew his petitions before officially making the ballot.
Last November, around two-thirds of voters in Cook County approved a binding referendum that calls for the consolidation of the Recorder of Deeds office into the Cook County Clerk’s office.
Yarbrough, whose position as recorder had been effectively liquidated by the referendum, now seems poised to preside over the merger, which she had opposed when it was being rolled out.
Supporters of the merger said that the consolidation would save county taxpayers money while Yarbrough said that the cost-savings would be minuscule compared with the costs of getting rid of valuable services that the recorder’s office provided and the clerk’s office did not. VFP
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