Orland Park Republican Elizabeth “Liz” Doody Gorman
With all 261 precincts counted, Gorman held a commanding lead with 13,180 votes (59.29 percent) versus Bellar’s tally of 9,051 votes (40.71 percent)
Gorman will square off in November against fellow Orland Park resident and Orland Fire Protection District president Jim Hickey, who ran unopposed on the Democratic side.
Bellar did not respond to email or phone requests for comment on Tuesday night, and Gorman, when asked, said she did not receive a concession call from Bellar.
Gorman, a self-described conservative “on fiscal and social issues,” is perhaps best known for her successful leadership role in opposing and later repealing the 133 percent tax hike pushed by then-County Board President Todd Stroger in 2008 and passed by the board’s Democratic majority.
Whether Gorman is actually a conservative was much of the focus of Bellar’s campaign. Bellar attempted to portray her as a RINO (Republican in Name Only), but most GOP primary voters did not appear to be buying it.
The Republican committeeman of Orland Township, Gorman consistently brushed off the criticism by countering that governing effectively in a two-party system includes give-and-take on both sides of the aisle, and that the best and most lasting solutions are often bipartisan ones.
If re-elected in November, Gorman plans to “continue the reform movement that is underway at Cook County. At no other time in recent memory has Cook County made the kinds of positive strides in reform than over the last four years, she said. She added that she plans to “remain vigilant in my effort to reform tax and fee measures wherever possible, to have Cook County continue to invest in innovative technology to reduce costs and improve efficiencies for county services and programs, and to stabilize the long-term fiscal health of the county.”
Beyond her own race, Gorman was a huge winner on Tuesday in terms of the gubernatorial race. She was an early and forceful supporter of winner Bruce Rauner, mustering a wide swath of suburban Republican organizations and individuals in recent months in what turned out to be a close race.
“Cook County [votes] put Rauner over the top,” Gorman told The Regional News via phone late Tuesday night, while on her way back to Orland Park from Rauner’s headquarters in the Loop.
She is expected to play a locally pivotal role in Rauner’s campaign to unseat Democratic Gov. Pat Quinn in the fall, a race that began at 1:22 a.m. Wednesday, when Rauner’s campaign sent out a blast email claiming that Quinn’s political operatives are “already tonight…starting to run a new attack ad against me. Can you believe it? They can’t even wait a day to start. So I can’t wait a day to ask. I’d planned a simple thank you note. But they’re running brand new negative general election ads as I type. Could you possibly donate $5, $25, $50, $100, $250, $500, or even $1,000 tonight?”
Gorman predicted a bruising battle ahead in the Rauner vs. Quinn match. “We’re going to do all we can to get [Rauner] to the finish line, and I think his message of change and of economic recovery will be well received by voters in Cook County and across the state.”