Forrest Claypool

Independent, Running for Cook County Assessor

Monday, Nov 1, 2010  |  Updated 9:36 PM CDT
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CASH ON HAND $533,202
RUNNING FOR COOK COUNTY ASSESSOR FORREST CLAYPOOL (I)
 

The Man:  Former Democrat-cum-Independent Forrest Claypool is the thorn in the Democratic party's side. Claypool currently holds the position of Cook County Commissioner for the 12th district, and he's also served as the Superintendent of Chicago Park District, deputy state treasurer, chief of staff to Mayor Richard M. Daley, and deputy commissioner on Cook County Board of Appeals.

Now he's running against the Chicago machine for the No. 1 tax job in the county. He's squaring off against Joseph Berrios, who heads the Cook County Democratic Party.

Claypool is the popular reform candidate promising to ensure fair and accurate property assessment while ending "pay to play" by refusing campaign contributions from attorneys who practice before the agency.  Additionally, he plans to use to office to advocate for fair tax policies to benefit voters.

The Knock: After switching his party affiliation and bucking the establishment, Claypool faces an uphill battle against a powerful machine that runs Chicago. While he's been able to come up with the funds to stay in the race as a viable contender, he commands nowhere near the financial support and resources of his main opponent.

The Strategy: He continues to attract media coverage to his platform to end corruption in Cook County over what is normally an unnoticed race.  His break from his party and stance on campaign contributions could work towards his advantage and possibly make him the first Independent to serve as Cook County Assessor.


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