The prospect of this happening has to be prompting the city’s white leaders, particularly Mayor Daley, to encourage Dick Devine to change his mind and run for another term…Here's what the Tribune says...
Ald. Howard Brookins Jr. (21st), who was recently elected to a second term on the City Council, says he plans to run for Cook County state's attorney next year.Miller notes on his blog further that...
Three-term State's Atty. Richard Devine has not decided if he will seek another four years in office. Devine, 64, is expected to make his decision by the end of the month, a source close to him said.
If Devine steps aside, the field of Democratic aspirants would likely get crowded quickly.
But Brookins, 43, said he intends to run regardless and is prepared to challenge Devine in the Feb. 5 Democratic primary.
"We're in this thing to win it," said Brookins, whose supporters created a new campaign committee last month. "We believe that the numbers are there. And we're going to give him a run."
Brookins said allegations of police brutality and criticisms that the state's attorney's office has not done enough to prosecute rogue police officers will be an issue in the campaign.
Brookins, who is African-American, said he expects to benefit from a higher turnout of black and liberal Democrats in the primary election as a result of the presidential candidacies of Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton.
Brookins, the son of a former state legislator, worked as an assistant state's attorney for one year under the late State's Atty. Cecil Partee, the only African-American to hold the office. He also worked as an assistant public defender for a year but has spent the rest of his legal career in private practice.
First elected in 2003, Brookins was targeted by organized labor in his re-election campaign earlier this year for his unsuccessful push for a Wal-Mart store in his South Side ward and for his opposition to a proposal to mandate a higher minimum wage for workers in such "big box" stores.
Although he was elected as an independent and has shown willingness to criticize Mayor Richard Daley, Brookins received support from the mayor after he was forced into a run-off election this spring against a labor-backed candidate. Devine, however, is a close political ally of Daley's.
Brookins is more closely associated with U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. (D-Ill.) but said he has not secured the congressman's support for his run.
Brookins could be a real thorn in Daley’s side if he wins that race. Daley would then have to fight battles on three fronts, one with the US Attorney, another with the hiring monitor, and one with with the county.
Miller also links to Russ Stewart's June 20th column which is where I read up his low down on what might happen in the lead up to the state's attorney contest next year...
But, according to political insiders, the so-called toady may be poised to hit the roady. The consensus is that Devine, age 63, first elected in 1996, will not seek a fourth term in 2008. "He has not made any statement of intention," said John Gorman, Devine's media spokesman, who said that Devine will decide if he's running "by late August." Asked to provide a list of Devine's accomplishments during 12 years in office, Gorman faxed a sparse, four-paragraph summarization.
With the 2008 primary moved up to Feb. 5, the first day to begin circulating nominating petitions is Aug. 7, and the filing deadline is Nov. 7.
A large field of Democrats are eyeing Devine's job, including county Commissioners Mike Quigley and Larry Suffredin, Aldermen Pat O'Connor (40th), Tom Allen (38th) and Howard Brookins (21st), Sheriff Tom Dart, county Treasurer Maria Pappas and first assistant state's attorney Bob Milan. Quigley, Suffredin and Brookins are self-proclaimed "reformers" and critics of Rich Daley, John Daley and Todd Stroger. Brookins is black, and he would have the support of U.S. Representative Jesse Jackson Jr.'s organization. The longer Devine vacillates, the more convinced his potential successors will become that another "Sheahan Switcheroo" is afoot.
It will be recalled that Mike Sheahan, who served as sheriff for 16 years, announced his intention to retire just 2 days before the November 2005 Democratic slate making and 2 weeks before the filing deadline. He endorsed Dart, his chief of staff and fellow 19th Ward Democrat, and Dart was slated primarily because nobody else had time to get a candidacy organized. Dart was nominated because he faced desultory opposition.
It could be deja vu in 2007, with a "Devine Deception" delaying or discouraging opposition. "The 19th Ward, the South Siders and the Daley people all want Milan in the job," said one well connected Democrat. "But he is unknown and could never win a primary. So watch Devine announce, circulate petitions, file, and then withdraw on the last day, and watch Milan file on the last day."
Attorney and political activist Frank Avila agrees: "There are personal scandals, personnel scandals and professional scandals" in the office and attaching to Devine. "He had easy races in 2000 and 2004. He won't have an easy race in 2008. He'll quit."