7th Dist. Welch faces challengers

Filing deadline closed this week

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By Michael Romain

Editor, The Village Free Press

After the deadline to file petitions to run for state office ended Dec. 2, State Representatives Emanuel "Chris" Welch, a Democrat who represents the 7th District (which covers Forest Park, River Forest and much of Proviso) found himself facing primary and general election challengers.

Rep. Welch, who's finishing his first year in the legislature, is a lawyer by profession who served as President of the Proviso Township High School District 209 Board of Education for nearly a decade before resigning this year. He currently lives in Hillside. He faces Democrat Antoinette "Toni" Gray, a current resident of Maywood and owner of a Farmers Insurance agency located at 901 S. 5th Ave. Although she doesn't practice law, Gray, a former college instructor and administrator, earned a juris doctorate and is currently pursuing a Ph.D. in the area of education. Gray will stop in Forest Park Sunday, Dec. 8 for a fundraiser at Fatduck Tavern & Grill.

Although the primary contest between Gray and Welch is shaping to be the central narrative of the race for the 7th Dist. seat (here's one sub-plot: Gray is a graduate of Proviso East High School in Maywood and Welch is an alumnus of Proviso West High School in Hillside), Republican Mark Salispan seeks to present a formidable obstacle in the general election for either candidate–despite his relative obscurity. Right now, the only thing we know definitely about Salispan is that he lives in Maywood (according to the Illinois State Board of Elections website).


This article first appeared in http://thevillagefreepress.org/

Reader Comments

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Posted: December 12th, 2013 9:24 PM

@ Sharon...I didn't realize you were from South Carolina ;) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=lj3iNxZ8Dww


Posted: December 12th, 2013 9:19 PM

For Billy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_Prp615mmDk

Edward P from Long time Forest Park  

Posted: December 12th, 2013 7:42 PM

Bee, is that English you wrote or is it English, oh miavusgida. I love Bee the master hypocrite.

Bill D  

Posted: December 12th, 2013 6:54 PM

You're the one making recommendations on chick flicks, Obstrudy. Enjoi.


Posted: December 12th, 2013 5:02 PM

@ Billy..I didn't see the "Notebook" I hear it's a real tear jerker ;) Just keep doing feats of strength in the drawing room..You keep us entertained ;)

Bill D.  

Posted: December 12th, 2013 11:08 AM

You're a real master of English, Pee. That is English, right?

Edward P from Long time Forest Park  

Posted: December 12th, 2013 9:24 AM

Bee has signaled Sharon from the bull pen all the while watching the hot chick in comedy action, oh Lordy what's next? Obs you have to had it to bee he fits right in with the comedy act part 1.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: December 11th, 2013 8:57 PM

Obstrudy, wasn't there a comedy starring Reese Witherspoon that featured a guy who knew a lot more than most males about women's fashion accessories? Not that that's not OK. Be yourself, appreciate handbags.You can still like baseball.


Posted: December 11th, 2013 5:54 PM

@ Sharon...ouch! Pretty impressive for a woman who hangs out on Oak Park's Lake Street with the ladies who lunch crowd with your Louboutin shoes and Hermes bag...if your FP minions only knew ;) Do you really care about Proviso? really? or is it a hobby?

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: December 11th, 2013 1:23 PM

'Madigoons' Investigated: Where Does State Work End, Politics Begin? Feb 22, 2010, by Dane Placko, Fox News http://www.myfoxchicago.com/story/17851484/madigoons-investigated-where-does-state-work-end-politics-begin#ixzz2nCBn7BFs. ... "Madigan grants his employees virtually unlimited leaves of absence to do political work. Only in Springfield could you find an employer so generous. ?. Decremer took off seven months in 2007, four months in 2008 and another four months in 2009."

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: December 11th, 2013 12:28 PM

Act 2, scene 2: http://forestparkforums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=4809&PID=83764&#83764

Bill D  

Posted: December 11th, 2013 8:55 AM

Antoinette Gray will confront her petition challenger, D88 school board member and D209 employee Daphene Walker, on December 17 at 2:30 p.m. in the County Clerk's offices. Walker's (and Mike Madigan's) objection alleges that the petition sheets don't have at least 500 signatures from registered voters, have signatures of people outside the district and that Gray is ineligible due to living outside the district. Walker's petition was stamped by Notary Public and Madigan staffer Shaw J. Decremer

Sharon Daly from Forest Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 10th, 2013 10:48 PM

Ron - you've obviously got yours but how will you convince us that we, too, can share the riches you enjoy? Got some janitor job openings you want to post? Snow plowing? Show us the money - we'd like to know the price of our souls, before we sell them.

Sharon Daly from Forest Park, Illinois  

Posted: December 10th, 2013 10:38 PM

Do I have this right? Observer is a wanker and likes a stimulating show - the merits are of no real concern. Ron definitely has grifter 'skin' in the Proviso game and thinks we should all 'get over it' - 'it' being the notion of greater good and proper governance, thereby urging us all over to the Dark Side. Wow.

Bill D  

Posted: December 10th, 2013 5:50 PM

Watch and see how I get over it, Ron.

Ron from Maywood  

Posted: December 10th, 2013 5:19 PM

Aww. Cry me a River Billy D. Get over it.

Bill D  

Posted: December 10th, 2013 5:07 PM

Dang, Ron. You one astute fellow. Madigan's backing Welch and they're already mobilized? Thanks for the tip that everyone with a brain already knows. This is the thing about you lower brow Proviso types that never ceases to amaze me. You project your psychic garbage onto other people. Because, see, Ron, I'M not going to lose if Madigan/Welch win. Ms Gray will. But so too will Proviso, which will be stuck with yet another- this time proven- liar and general all around political fiefdom builder.

Ron from Maywood  

Posted: December 10th, 2013 3:58 PM

Billy D I only deal with details that matter. Here's the only detail you should concern yourself with Billy boy: incumbent State Representative Emanuel "Chris" Welch, Democrat. That means Mike Madigan and the Democratic majority will be heavily involved in this race. They already are. This is not a race for an open seat where Madigan stayed out. Sorry Billy. You will lose again.

Bill D  

Posted: December 10th, 2013 3:10 PM

Well, Ron, if I'm a hack, I'm one with a lot of details, and you and others have yet to respond to a single one. Because you can't. So who's bitter? Go ahead. Get angry. But some friendly advice. Watch yourself, because others are.


Posted: December 10th, 2013 1:48 PM

Billy you have some 'splaining to do ;) these guys are mad, and they are bringing in the muscle between Ron n Frank, I'd say you have your hands full ;) where are Watcher and Sharon when you need them? I'm getting my popcorn ready between this and ESPN I just don't know what to follow ;)

Ron from Maywood  

Posted: December 10th, 2013 1:23 PM

Billy D you tried these smear tactics two years ago, and they didn't work. Now you're taking on Madigan's incumbent against a woman who has no political experience, can't touch Welch's resume, and doesn't live in the District. Shame on you. You have become a bitter, angry, ogre who has tunnel vision hatred for Welch and it shows. You have zero credibility because of it and you are the one who sounds like a hack.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: December 10th, 2013 10:52 AM

Act 2, scene 1: http://forestparkforums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=4808&PID=83760&#83760

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: December 10th, 2013 9:11 AM

For anyone interested. More to come. http://forestparkforums.com/forum_posts.asp?TID=4807&title=mannix-hosting-welch-website

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: December 10th, 2013 9:09 AM

"last act"? You know something I don't, "Ron"? And "sobriquet." Very erudite of you. But you still can't respond to the facts can you? Because they're just there- won't go away. Your guy is a liar, and it's been adjudicated in court. And Obstrudy, really, "invaders"? You mean, the people who purchased houses in Proviso Township and moved here and pay taxes. Is that what we are? Invading what? Because dude, you aren't from here, despite what you say. Now go get ready for baseball season.


Posted: December 10th, 2013 8:28 AM

Wow - I think Billy D "Ogre" met his match here with Ron! Edward, thank you for disclosing the subterfuge of the Oak Park invaders ;) that explains it. To think that I actually found Sharon n Billy D somewhat charming...forget about it now. ;) Willie L is flat out creepy, in a weird science teacher kind of way ;) going to watch NBC's Sound of Music live production now :(

Frank from Forest Park  

Posted: December 10th, 2013 8:25 AM

And Bill you admit that for years you appeared under a sobriquet yourself, this is why you are truly a hypocrite.... Bill watching your last act is truly sad and pathetic

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: December 10th, 2013 8:21 AM

And you still don't have the courage to put your name to your comments, Ron.

Ron from Maywood  

Posted: December 10th, 2013 8:18 AM

Billy D you are truly a sad and bitter man. Truly.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: December 10th, 2013 8:13 AM

And Ron? Since when is divorce illegal? People get divorced. It's a sad fact, but it's not a against the law. Defaming people with anonymous lies posted on a website, then lying about that, as Welch did- THAT'S illegal?.. If Michael Madigan's objection, filed through Daphne Walker, is upheld, and a hearing judge holds that Ms. Gray is ineligible, you're right, I'll be disappointed. But then, I've been disappointed the past year at having a proven liar and hack representing me in Springfield.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: December 10th, 2013 8:03 AM

Now, Ron, you're starting to sound a bit thug life with the "beating my punk (ass)" thang. Try using your own name if you're going to talk all 4CH. And you really should leave ethics out of any discussion concerning your candidate, as he's already shown a disturbing lack of ethics?..@ Tommy "Edward," what exactly do you mean by "kisses many salient points/facts"? Sounds sort of kinky, son.

Edward P from Long time Forest Park  

Posted: December 10th, 2013 12:41 AM

Bee only does his research online and kisses many salient points/facts. Bee, Sharon D, Willie L, are all from the same Oak Park cut of fries. When you peel their potato skin there's not much underneath. You have to give them credit for asking questions but they fail miserably in the character and common sense department. This is fairly common in Oak Park and they have slowly been infiltrating the fine community of Forest Park. All bee can do is blame Welch, Bee is a sorry example of a human.

Ron from Maywood  

Posted: December 9th, 2013 10:49 PM

Your standard for ethical is someone who doesn't even live in the district but will commit perjury to run. Billy D you should be ashamed of yourself. Instead of bringing up unnecessary facts about an objector, you might want to do some homework on Gray before you are really embarrassed. Have you spoken to any her former insurance customers? Who are her partners in her home flipping business? Research the one the matters you clown.

Ron from Maywood  

Posted: December 9th, 2013 10:44 PM

Bill D since you are so good at looking people up why don't you look up Gray's divorce? Where does she live? Why do her kids go to school in Du Page County? Is that because she lives there too? I see you and your 36 other friends will be sorely disappointed when Welch is unopposed. Especially you Billy D because it's clearly personal with you. You should run against Welch so he could beat your punk A too.

Bill D.  

Posted: December 9th, 2013 8:09 PM

Oh, sorry, "Ron." I forgot to answer your question. Yes, "Ron," I enjoyed the fundraiser. Great appetizers. And Ms. Gray has a nice family and there were around 36-38 people there when left. By the way, I wrote her campaign a check. Unlike you, not because I want to get a job out of it- I don't- but because I know she's a more honest and ethical person than Emanuel "Chris!!!" Welch, and I believe she'll be a far better state rep??...Go Bears.

Bill Dwyer  

Posted: December 9th, 2013 8:00 PM

The same D88 board that is currently being sued in federal court for racial discrimination after hiring, then rescinding the hiring of a caucasian janitor. The same Walker who was elected in 2007 with the active support of Welch's mentor, Eugene Moore. The same Walker who's had three foreclosure actions on her home, in 2003, 2007 and 2010. As for you "Ron," tell us all, are you the "Ron" who county records show was hanging out with Billy Welch on one St. Patricks Day in the early 1990s?

Bill D.  

Posted: December 9th, 2013 7:54 PM

Daphne's sure gonna be a busy girl, Ron. Objecting to both the primary Democrat AND the Republican general candidate. I'd take her more seriously if she'd actually pulled the petitions. But that was done by an operative of Michael Madigan, Welch's new puppet master. Not to question the motives of an honest to goodness church deacon, Ron, but Walker DOES work at Proviso East High School, where Welch ran things for 10 years, and is on the D88 board, right?

Ron from Maywood  

Posted: December 9th, 2013 6:26 PM

Hey Bill D! How was the Gray fundraiser? Did you and the 14 other people enjoy yourself? I hear she' been objected to because she doesn't live in the district. http://www.elections.il.gov/ElectionInformation/LatestObjections.aspx?id=41. But I'm sure you will still vote for her any way when she's write in candidate.

Bill D.  

Posted: December 6th, 2013 11:39 AM

The specifics for Gray's fundraiser: Sunday, Dec. 8, between 4 p.m. and 7:30 p.m. Fat Duck Tavern and Grill, 7218 Madison in Forest Park.

Bill D.  

Posted: December 5th, 2013 11:37 AM

"the character of you and Madigan one one of the same"? So then, Pee, you and Obstrudy are, as you put it, "one one and the same"? Hmmm?. your writing is rather "incorrherant" of late?.

Edward P from Long time Forest Park  

Posted: December 5th, 2013 8:56 AM

Billy as usual you distort facts. No parallel was made in reference to money only your stature and attitude which is in perfect alignment with Madigan. Your ability to slip and slide and switch and bait is stellar but foolish and childish at the same time. The fact remains that the character of you and Madigan one one of the same. Fact it is.

jerry from forest park  

Posted: December 5th, 2013 8:23 AM

Barbara, even a blind squirrel finds an acorn. I don't thnk he has changed.

Bill D.  

Posted: December 5th, 2013 8:19 AM

Damn, Pee Wee, if that means I get a $1.1 million bank account, the power to direct state law making and control over the Democratic party apparatus, I kinda hope you're right. But of course, as usual. you aren't.

Barbara from Forest Park  

Posted: December 5th, 2013 7:22 AM

I agree with Matt but it's good that there's a challenger to Welch just in case he falls back into his old habits.

Edward P from Long time Forest Park  

Posted: December 4th, 2013 10:37 PM

Billy, you and Madigan are so much alike, short, stubborn, makes their point and thinks it's the only right one. Take a look in the mirror you might see Mike.

Bill D.  

Posted: December 4th, 2013 5:40 PM

Welch made the right decision for the wrong reason- he's not about to cross the all powerful Mike Madigan. When a challenger filed nominating petitions Monday afternoon, a Madigan agent from the Democratic Majority was right there requesting copies of the petitions. Welch is going to have a tremendous fight on his hands unless he can force Antoinette Gray off the ballot through a challenge. And Madigan, with a $1 million plus on hand and more coming, is working to see that happens.


Posted: December 4th, 2013 3:47 PM

I never thought i'd say this after the crap that Welsh did as Proviso board member but Watching not only his vote but his reasoning behind it i think hes done a good job representing his area. Can't believe i just said that.

Bill D.  

Posted: December 4th, 2013 1:48 PM

Looking forward to meeting Ms. Gray. She's welcome to everything in my files on Emanuel "Chris!!!" Welch.

Fed Up from Forest Park  

Posted: December 4th, 2013 1:43 PM

You go, Gray!

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