On Saturday, South Side ward committeemen and south suburban township committeemen will gather to choose the Cook County Democratic Party’s candidate for the 2nd District special election. The slating session begins at 9:30 a.m. at South Suburban College, 5800 S. State St., in South Holland. All the aspirants will be allowed to make five-minute speeches, and then the bosses will go back into their air purified room to choose a winner.
Fifteen would-be congressmen are on the docket, but to win, a candidate has to receive a majority of the weighted vote from the committeemen. The weighted vote is determined by the number of votes cast in the most recent Democratic primary by the precinct lying within the 2nd District. The boss with the most weight is Thornton Township Committeeman Frank Zuccarelli, who has 20,000 votes -- 29 percent of the total. Zuccarelli supports state Sen. Donne Trotter, but he’ll need to persuade at least two other committeemen. The slated candidate will have the support of Joe Berrios and his Democratic machine, although whether he or she will appear on palm cards is still up to the individual committeemen. It also won’t affect Will or Kankakee counties, which also lie within the district. However, because there are so many candidates, many believe it’s unlikely that anyone will emerge with enough votes to win the party’s endorsement.
Here’s a list of committeemen, in order of influence.
Thornton Township: 20,000 (Frank Zuccarelli)
Rich Township: 11,000 (Tim Bradford)
Bloom Township 8,900 (Terry Matthews)
7th Ward: 7,400 (Ald. Sandi Jackson)
9th Ward: 6,600 (Ald. Anthony Beale)
Bremen Township: 4,100 (State Sen. Maggie Crotty)
5th Ward: 3,700 (Ald. Leslie A. Hairston)
8th Ward: 2,800 (Ald. Michelle Harris)
10th Ward: 3,400 (Ald. John Pope)
34th Ward: 2,000 (Ald. Carrie Austin)