Dorothy Brown ‘Disappointed' in Challengers for Primary Election

Four challengers, including Ald. Michelle Harris, filed petitions to join the March primary

Dorothy Brown, longtime Cook County clerk of the circuit court, has expressed disappointment after four challengers filed petitions to race against her in the upcoming primary election.

Brown, who has held office for 15 years, will face her challengers in the March race. Ald. Michelle Harris, former Ald. Shirley Coleman, attorney Jacob Meister and community activist Tio Hardiman all filed their petitions before the Monday deadline.

In a statement released Tuesday, Brown's office portrayed Harris and Coleman as traitors and described them as "former allies who have unfathomably become potential detractors." 

"Clerk Brown is disappointed that certain members of the Democratic Party, individuals she has long supported, have filed petitions to challenge her in the March 2016 election, namely Alderman Michelle Harris, who would turn back the hands of time by having political ward bosses in control of the jobs; and former Alderman Shirley Coleman, who, it appears, is being used as a stalking horse for Jacob Meister, a perennial candidate that will run for any office imaginable," the statement from Brown's office reads.

Although Brown is the incumbent in the upcoming race, her campaign for re-election hit serious trouble when reports surfaced that claimed that the FBI conducted a raid at Brown's home as part of a federal investigation. Brown said the multiple published reports about the alleged investigation are just rumors.

A short time later, the Cook County Democratic Party reversed its decision to slate Brown for re-election, even after she appealed directly to the 80 committeemen and told them she has donated $25,000 to the party. The party instead endorsed Harris.

The alleged federal investigation is not the only time Brown has faced serious questions. She was also asked about a program where she charged employees for "blue jean Fridays" and placed the employees' donations in a private charity fund.

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