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Wednesday, December 24, 2014 || By Michael Romain || Updated: 1:08 PM
Race attracts few newcomers, many old hands
With the filing process to compete in the April 7, 2015, municipal elections drawing to a close, most local races are coming into focus. With the submission of candidates’ petition papers, what was already a crowded race for the three open seats on the Maywood Board of Trustees has become even more crowded.
By our latest count, 12 candidates have submitted petitions to be on the ballot. Trustee Cheryl Ealey-Cross, who was appointed last August to fill a seat vacated by former trustee and current Mayor Edwenna Perkins, is looking to defend her seat. The terms of Trustees Audrey Jaycox and Ron Rivers are set to expire.
The trustee race is ripe with colorful subplots and has no shortage of powerful personalities, but it may boil down to a fight between two heavyweight slates. In what may clearly be the most formidable of the two major slates, sitting trustee Ron Rivers will team with outgoing District 209 Board member Readith Ester and former Maywood Mayor Henderson Yarbrough, Sr.
All three successfully fought back a challenge to their candidacies earlier this month and have the vast organizational support of the Proviso Township Democratic Organization (PTDO), which is headed by Henderson Yarbrough’s wife, Cook County Recorder of Deeds and PTDO Committeewoman Karen Yarbrough.
Former Cook County Recorder of Deeds Eugene Moore is the main backer behind the other ostensible heavyweight, a slate comprising his grandson Chase Moore, youth activist Isiah Brandon and former trustee Marcius Scaggs.
Despite strong professional and educational credentials, the younger Moore, a financial consultant, is a relative unknown compared to his ticket-mates. Brandon, the founder and executive director of Youth on the Move is a ubiquitous presence at community events, board meetings and political fundraisers. Scaggs, although a less visible community presence than Brandon, might be considered the slate’s main draw.
Last year, he narrowly lost a seat on the Board to sitting trustee Antonette Dorris, with less than ten votes separating the two. Having garnered more than 1,040 votes last year, Scaggs may come with a considerable base of support that he’s hoping can carry over into next year’s election. The same logic applies to Brandon, who garnered close to 1,000 votes despite being technically thrown off of the ballot and appearing as a write-in candidate during his bid for trustee last year.
After these two slates come a rowdy coterie of independents, among whom are perhaps some of the most powerful personalities in the race. Dominating this group is sitting trustee Cheryl Ealey-Cross, whose several months’ tenure on the Board has raised her profile in the community since she ran unsuccessfully last year, garnering less than 800 votes and coming in last among candidates on the ballot.
Other independents include liquor commissioner Mary “May” Larry, a mayoral candidate in last year’s race who is running for both a trustee seat and a seat on the Maywood Park District Commission; Tanya T. Butler, who is running for trustee as she simultaneously defends her seat on the Maywood Library Board of Trustees; Joseph Ratley, a former trustee and member of the Planning and Zoning Commission; Gloria Clay, a former trustee and sitting member of the Police and Fire Commission; and Joslyn Arrington Simmons, who is a cousin of Mayor Edwenna Perkins.
Library Board and Park District candidates
Among candidates who submitted petitions to be on the Maywood Park District Commission were sitting board president Bill Hampton, Arnettra Burnside, Lincoln Smith, Patricia Ward, Robert Robinson, Sr., Robert Lewis, Mary “May” Larry and Vernell Brown.
So far, we’re only aware of two candidates — sitting board members Elliot Wimbush and Tanya T. Butler — who have filed petitions to run for the Maywood Library board. VFP