Forest Park Village Council member Rory Hoskins, who is now running for state representative, officially opened his campaign office on Madison Street Sunday afternoon. A crowd of about 75 people filled the formerly vacant storefront at 7441 Madison. Congressman Danny Davis (D-7th District) introduced Hoskins.

“I have watched Rory for years,” Davis told the crowd. “He will act in the public good.”

Hoskins faces four other candidates in the Democratic primary in the race for the seat in the seventh district now held by State Representative Karen Yarbrough. Yarbrough is giving up the seat to run for Cook County Recorder of Deeds. Yarbrough and her husband Henderson, who is the mayor of Maywood, were at the campaign office opening Sunday. Karen Yarbrough spoke and praised Hoskins although Yarbrough is officially neutral in the race and has not made an endorsement.

Hoskins faces a tough opponent in Chris Welch, the president of the Proviso Township District 209 school board. Welch has raised almost 10 times more money than Hoskins. Welch now sports more than $60,000 for the race while Hoskins latest campaign finance filing shows that his campaign has a current cash balance of $6,608.

A number of current and former local elected officials were at the event to show their support for Hoskins including three members of the District 91 school board: Sean Blaylock, John Tricoci Jr. and Mary Turek. Also there supporting Hoskins was Eric Entler, vice president of the park board and one current colleague of Hoskins on the village council, Chris Harris. Also present was former village council member and former mayoral candidate Marty Tellalian.

Mayor Anthony Calderone is supporting Welch and has donated $500 to Welch’s campaign.