Regional elected officials turned up in support of Rory Hoskins Feb. 2 at a fundraiser at Thyme and Honey Restaurant in Forest Park. Maywood Mayor Henderson Yarbrough, husband of Karen Yarbrough, praised Hoskins for his work as past president of the Proviso Township Democratic Organization.

“I’ve always been impressed with Rory, the way he carries himself, the way he’s conducted business [as an elected official] and the way he cares about the people,” said Henderson Yarbrough.

Fellow Forest Park Commissioner Chris Harris was present, as well as LaGrange Park Trustee Marshall Seeder, Berkley Library Board President Willie Marshall, Maywood Village Clerk Gary Woll, Karen Thompson of the Bellwood Library Board, Eric Entler of the Forest Park Park District, John Tricoci of the District 91 School Board, and Cook County Circuit Judge Robert E. Senechalle, Jr. and his wife.

U.S. Congressman Danny Davis endorsed Hoskins earlier, the campaign reported before the fundraiser. In a press release, Davis called Hoskins “articulate, young, bright keenly intelligent, has a good heart, is public-service oriented and will follow in the mode of Karen Yarbrough.”

Hoskins also reported that he got the endorsement of the Independent Voters of Illinois (IVI-IPO).

“I’ve known Congressman Davis a long time and we speak regularly,” said Hoskins. Of the endorsement, he said he was not surprised. “I’m very pleased. It certainly can’t hurt.”

The district’s new boundaries lessen Proviso Township’s influence on the district, said Hoskins campaign manager Larry Shapiro. Shapiro, who lives in Bellwood and has worked for Karen Yarbrough’s campaign, said he hoped that would undercut support for Emanuel “Chris” Welch. Welch is president of the Proviso Township Dist. 209 school board and has wide support there. Shapiro acknowledged that Hoskins was financially trailing Welch and that Welch signs were proliferating the area.

“Signs don’t vote,” said Shapiro, adding that Hoskins signs were now being distributed to volunteers.

The new district includes all of River Forest, and goes northwest almost to Elmhurst and south to Western Springs. Not included are Melrose Park and Stone Park, although Melrose Park Mayor Ron Serpico endorsed Welch and donated $400 to his campaign. Stone Park Mayor Beniamino Mazzula also endorsed Welch and his campaign donated $160.

Meanwhile Welch announced he had the endorsement of Personal PAC, an Illinois pro-choice political organization and the Italian American Political Coalition. Welch was also endorsed by the Illinois Federation of Teachers.

The primary takes place on March 20.

Jean Lotus loves community journalism. She covers news, features, two school boards, village council, crime, park district and writes obits for Forest Park Review. She also covers the police beat for...