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‘Blue wave’ leads to Democratic supermajority on County Board

Cook County Commissioner Gregg Goslin, left, and Democratic challenger Scott R. Britton. File Photo. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Cook County Commissioner Gregg Goslin, left, was unseated Tuesday by Democratic challenger Scott R. Britton. "I knew a 'blue wave' was coming my way," Goslin said. File Photo. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

And then there were two — two Republicans on the Cook County Board of Commissioners, that is.

Two were wiped out in Tuesday night’s election thanks to a “blue wave” funded by board president — and chair of the county’s Democratic Party — Toni Preckwinkle, whose board of 17 members now has 15 Democrats.

Scott Britton, an insurance lawyer, will take over for Commissioner Gregg Goslin, R-Glenview, who has served on the board since 1998. Kevin Morrison, who worked on Hillary Clinton’s 2016 campaign for president, unseated Tim Schneider, R-Bartlett, in Tuesday night’s election. Schneider did not respond to requests for comment.

Kevin Morrison will be the board’s youngest and first openly LGBTQ member.

“This win was for the people of the 15th District who are hungry for true representation and are in need of a voice on the County Board,” Morrison said in a statement Tuesday night.

Goslin received 46 percent of the vote to Britton’s 54 percent.

“I knew a blue wave was coming my way,” Goslin said. “It’s like this with every president, their first midterm election is a disaster for the party. That’s not new to me.”

Commissioner Sean Morrison, R-Palos Park, barely survived his contest despite the flood of money from the Cook County Democratic Party that helped his opponent — he received 51 percent of the vote to Abdelnasser Rashid’s 49 percent.

Sean Morrison said he wasn’t expecting the race to be so close and attributed the rise in turnout to Governor-elect J.B. Pritzker’s Get Out the Vote drive — Morrison says his district alone saw 36,000 new voters.

“[More Democrats on the board] means that unless some of my colleagues come with a resolve to hold the County Board in a fiscally demanding setting, I think Preckwinkle will have the ability to do whatever she wants to do,” Morrison said. “You only need nine votes to pass things.”

A supermajority typically means a veto-proof majority.

A county source said the wave means the board will be under one-party rule with Preckwinkle at the helm. “She’s solidified her power base, and my concern for the county taxpayer is that she’s going to run rampant because there will be no check. It’ll be Sean Morrison and that’s it.”

The belief among some Republicans is that Preckwinkle, through her powerful side gig, is looking to create a County Board more in line with her Democratic vision for the county should she lose her Chicago mayoral bid and remain president.

In a statement released Tuesday night, Preckwinkle said she was committed to moving the party “in a progressive direction” and that labor paid off in last night’s elections in the county and statewide.

“We defeated President Trump’s ally and Illinois GOP Chair Cook County Commissioner Tim Schneider and elected the first openly LGBT member to serve on the Cook County Board,” part of the statement read. “Tonight, Democrats sent a clear message to President Trump and Republicans — their policies of fear and bigotry are not welcomed in Cook County.”

The two Democrats elected Tuesday join a wave of other Democrats who won in the March primary. They include Chicago Democrats Bridget Degnen, Alma Anaya, Bill Lowry and Brandon Johnson, and Donna Miller, of Lynwood. Commissioners will be sworn in Dec. 3.