Morrison Ready For Uphill Battle Against Schneider In Cook County Board Race
04/19/2018With the Democratic Primary for the 15th District Cook County commissioner’s seat certified last week, Democrat Kevin Morrison looks forward to an uphill battle against a long-time incumbent with vast resources.
Morrison faces Cook County Commissioner Tim Schneider (R-15th) in the November General Election. Schneider, who was first elected in 2006, has a campaign war chest nine times larger than Morrison’s. Schneider is also chairman of the Illinois Republican Party.
The 15th District includes portions of Arlington Heights, Elk Grove Village, Mount Prospect and Rolling Meadows in the Journal-area, plus communities to the county’s northwestern border.
At the end of the first quarter of 2018, Schneider had more than $122,000 in campaign funds compared to Morrison’s $13,600. Morrison said he knows those odds and is undeterred.
Morrison said he will work hard to close the fundraising gap to afford mailers and possible television time. He said he would also rely heavily on social media.
In the Primary election, Morrison said he saw a ray of hope as Democratic ballots pulled within the 15th District were double that of the last election.
Morrison said knocking on doors would be not only a staple of his campaign, but would continue if he is elected. He said public events, including town hall meetings, other constituent services, community outreach and availability and work with legislators at other levels of government would be hallmarks of his tenure, if elected.
Morrison criticized his opponent for a lack of community outreach, saying more often than not, going door to door, residents confused his opponent Tim Schneider with U.S. Rep. Brad Schneider (D-10th), whose district extends into nearby Des Plaines and communities to the north.
Much of Morrison’s message addresses economics. He proposes property tax and permit fee breaks for new businesses for the first few years of operations. He said he has seen the difficulties small businesses face. His grandparents, immigrants from Italy, opened Dino’s Pizza in 1968. It remains open in the 7000 block of Higgins Road in Chicago. He said he gained an appreciation for the hardships of opening and running a business through watching his parents and grandparents work.
Morrison also plans to help create an overall fairer tax system for the county, including streamlining property tax breaks for seniors.
The 28-year-old Elk Grove Village native is a graduate of DePaul University, where he studied political science and environmental science with a minor in lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer studies.
Morrison, who is gay, said, “The LGBT community deserves a voice, but I’m not running as the LGBT candidate.”
After graduating, Morrison went on to work for several Chicago aldermen and on the campaigns of Democrats including Hillary Clinton, in both the Primary and 2016 General Election and for U.S. Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi’s (D-8th) campaign.
Working for aldermen taught Morrison about constituent services. He said in one ward’s aldermanic office, that meant issues of dead trees and potholes, while in another ward, it was job fairs and food banks.
Morrison said all constituents deserve equal access to county services and equal treatment by county employees regardless of where they live, their race, gender or gender identity. He said he would mandate county employees receive additional training to better interact with minority, transgender and other groups, be it in the county’s legal or hospital systems.