Write-in-only primary gives Greens a takeover opportunity: “We’re now running for majority control.”
CHICAGO — The Illinois Green Party has announced a fifth candidate for the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District Board of Commissioners, which oversees Cook County’s billion-dollar, 2000-employee, taxpayer-funded wastewater treatment and flood prevention agency.
The death of MWRD Commissioner Timothy Bradford in December 2017, just days before the close of the filing period for the 2018 primaries, resulted in a snap decision from the Cook County Clerk’s office to put Bradford’s unfinished two-year term on the March 20th primary ballots — with no candidates listed, making it a write-in-only election. The decision was issued on January 11th, and filing for write-in candidates closed one week later, on January 18th.
Illinois Green Party Secretary Geoffrey Cubbage, a former data analyst on international aid projects in Afghanistan, including agricultural and water-supply development initiatives, has filed as a Green Party write-in candidate, joining four other Greens in the race. With nine seats total, that puts a majority in play in 2018 — and the Green Party promises a hard campaign to win it all.
“Obviously,” said Secretary Cubbage, “we’re not satisfied with the way Democrat Party election officials chose to handle this situation. Announcing a write-in-only election with one week’s notice is a clear attempt to limit the candidates for an unexpectedly open seat. But we’ve filed the necessary paperwork, and we will be urging voters to draw a Green Party ballot in the March 20 primary, and to write in ‘Geoffrey Cubbage’ for the two-year unfinished term of Timothy Bradford.”
Pointing to remarks made by sitting Commissioner Frank Avila, Cubbage added, “Even the Democrats on the Board think this is unfair. This is Cook County politics at its worst, and the Green Party is fighting back.” Commissioner Avila had stated in a Facebook post, “The insiders and Machine and joke of an electoral authority are deciding an open seat by write in and the media has not even written about it and only insiders know about it.”
“We’re all about open, transparent government in the Green Party,” said Cubbage. “And now we can tell voters: look around Cook County and ask yourself, has one-party rule by the Democrats really served you all that well? Because if not — you’ve got a chance to turn an all-Democrat body into a Green-majority body, in one election. With five seats in play, we’re now running for majority control, and that’s worth fighting for.”