Cook County Commissioner Ed Moody, D-Chicago Ridge, said Tuesday he will not run for election next year.
Moody — a longtime top precinct captain for Illinois House Speaker and Democratic Party Chairman Michael Madigan — was appointed to fill a vacancy on the county board a year ago and had said he would seek election to a full term.
But Moody told the Chicago Sun-Times he decided not to run after all because of a serious illness to a member of his family.
Moody said he made the decision to drop out of the race despite lining up endorsements from labor unions and Democratic Party committeemen in his south suburban district.
The unspecified illness to a family member, he said, made it impossible for him to dedicate the time needed to campaign.
“I just couldn’t do it,” he said.
Moody said he will remain neutral in the March primary and will continue to serve on the county board until his successor take office in December 2018.
Moody faced loud criticism after voting to approve Board President Toni Preckwinkle’s penny-an-ounce tax on sweetened beverages. Worth Mayor Mary Werner and anti-tax activists wearing “Can the Tax” T-shirts said they were tossed out of a restaurant where Preckwinkle attended a fundraiser for Moody in August.
But Moody eventually switched sides on the issue, voting to repeal the tax last month.
For decades, Moody and his twin brother Fred have been among the most effective campaign operatives in Madigan’s organization, doing door-to-door election work for candidates endorsed by the speaker in state legislative and municipal races across Illinois.
Ed Moody was the unanimous choice of Democratic committeemen to complete the term of Commissioner Joan Murphy after she died last year.
Eight others had applied to fill the vacancy, including Murphy’s daughter Tricia and Crestwood Mayor Lou Presta.
Moody left a $100,000-a-year job working for Chief Cook County Judge Timothy Evans to take the county board seat, which pays $85,000 a year.