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ENDORSEMENT: Bridget Degnen for Cook Co. board in 12th Dist. Democratic primary

Bridget Degnen, Cook County Board Democratic primary candidate. | Rich Hein/Sun-Times

Bridget Degnen can boast a varied and accomplished career as a lawyer and environmental engineer, working in and out of government. She would bring valued knowledge and skills, especially on environmental matters, to the county board, and we endorse her.

Degnen is committed to being a full-time commissioner, unlike the incumbent, John Fritchey, who also works as a state and city of Chicago government lobbyist. Degnen also says openly, showing a little political courage, that the county can’t simply keep cutting employees and services to solve its financial problems.

Degnen most recently served as deputy director of the Medical Cannabis Pilot Program for the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation. She previously worked as a litigator in private practice and, in 2013, as deputy general counsel to the Illinois Department of Public Health.

Degnen’s “first priority” would be to require all 17 County Board members to propose new revenue sources for the county, such as new fees or taxes “that are not offensive to residents in this district.” Among her own ideas for new revenue are charging fees to people who want quicker delivery of county documents and leasing out land in the forest preserves for seasonal “pop-up” restaurants.

Fritchey, for his part, led the effort to merge the recorder of deeds office into that of the Cook County clerk, championed the repeal the unpopular penny-per-ounce sweetened beverage tax, and put an advisory referendum on the this year’s primary election ballot on legalizing the use of recreational marijuana.

But our choice is Degnen, who is well prepared as a lawyer and public servant.

When Democrats running for Cook County commissioner in the 12th District visited the Chicago Sun-Times Editorial Board on Feb. 20, we asked them to introduce themselves to voters. Watch Degnen’s response: