JOLIET, IL – Democrat Will County Executive Larry Walsh Sr. may be stepping down from political office as early as next month and Democrat State Senator Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant could be named his successor, multiple sources have told the Joliet Patch Editor. Walsh’s departure would come one year before voters of Will County decide their next County Executive.
Last December, Walsh, who is in his early seventies, announced he was battling cancer again, and he has been undergoing chemotherapy.
Now, Patch has learned, some political wheeling and dealing may be taking place involving the old Will County Democratic establishment.
Bertino-Tarrant may be named the Will County Executive without others being considered for the role, sources explained.
Appointing Bertino-Tarrant this spring or summer would put her as the frontrunner in any political primary that would have challengers come 2020.
A Democrat from Shorewood, Bertino-Terrant was elected in November 2012 to the 49th senate district. Her district includes Bolingbrook, Crest Hill, Joliet, Montgomery, Naperville, Oswego, Plainfield, Romeoville and Shorewood.
If Bertino-Tarrant gets named as the next Will County Executive, State Representative Natalie Manley may then get appointed to fill Bertino-Tarrant’s vacancy in the senate, sources told Patch. A Joliet Democrat, Manley won re-election to the Illinois General Assembly by a margin of 64 percent to 36 percent against Republican candidate Alyssia Benford of Bolingbrook last November.
One source told Joliet Patch that Walsh’s departure from Will County politics would not be a complete shock due to his present medical condition.
However, some Democrats are apparently rankled with the prospect of a backroom deal being struck by Will County’s old guard Democrats to appoint Bertino-Tarrant without opening up the process to interviews and applicants.
Local Will County Democrats might be reminded of the Chicago mayoral election when Toni Preckwinkle, Cook County Board of Commissioners president and Cook County Democratic Party chair, was anointed by Chicago’s Democratic establishment as their preferred pick to replace Mayor Rahm Emanuel.
However, Chicago’s Democratic voters shunned the Democratic establishment and voted in an overwhelming landslide to pick Lori Lightfoot as mayor.
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April 9, 2019 at 12:45AM