Former Forest Park Village Council member Mark Hosty is running for the Cook County board. Hosty is seeking the Republican nomination to run for county commissioner in the 9th District where incumbent Republican Pete Silvestri is retiring after serving on the county board for 28 years. Hosty announced his candidacy Feb. 3.

Hosty served for 16 years on the Forest Park Village Council, where he was a strong supporter of former mayor Anthony Calderone. Hosty was defeated when he ran for a fifth term in 2015. He finished last in a field of five candidates vying for four seats. 

A few years ago, Hosty moved to River Forest. The 9th District includes River Forest but does not include Forest Park or Oak Park. It also includes all or parts of River Grove, Elmwood Park, Rosemont, Park Ridge, Niles, Des Plaines, Mt. Prospect, Arlington Heights, Rolling Meadows, and the 41st and 38th Wards of Chicago.

Hosty has been active in Republican politics for some time. He has twice been elected to be a delegate to Republican National Conventions, in 2008 when he supported John McCain and in 2020 when he was a delegate for Donald Trump. In 2018 Hosty was elected to a seat on the Republican state central committee as the Republican committeeman for the 7th Congressional District.

He owns a commercial building on Madison Street in Forest Park where he long managed Healy’s Westside tavern. Healy’s closed in 2020 after a long and successful run. The Forest Park Tap Room is now located in the space that Healy’s formerly occupied. Healy has no connection with the Forest Park Tap Room other than being the bar’s landlord. The Forest Park Tap Room has been the subject of numerous complaints by some Madison Street business owners and residents complaining of excessive noise and rowdy and sometimes violent behavior by some customers. Last year the Forest Park Tap Room had its liquor license revoked by the Village of Forest Park but last month the Illinois State Liquor Commission reversed that decision and ordered the village to return its liquor license.

Hosty did not respond to calls, a text message or an email asking him to comment about his race for the county board but his campaign has a polished web site that outlines some of his positions. Hosty is positioning himself as a law-and-order candidate and as someone who wants to cut taxes.

“Stopping the out-of-control crime in our area is my number one priority, followed very closely by reducing property taxes,” says Hosty in an article on the campaign web site announcing his candidacy. “We need to adopt zero based budgeting for the county with instructions to our department heads to cut whatever is not necessary so we can allocate resources into crime fighting. Because of the out-of-control property taxes, suburban residents are going to start losing their homes faster than they are being car jacked. I want to lead the charge on crime control and property tax reductions.”

The Blue Lives Matter flag is prominently displayed on Hosty’s campaign web site.

“All of Cook County has seen a rash of car jackings and it is a real danger in the suburbs as well as the City of Chicago,” Hosty says. “Our prosecutors need to stop experimenting with social engineering and do the job they were hired to do — take criminals off the streets to protect our families. As a former Commissioner in Forest Park, I was constantly meeting with police officers and police command staff to make sure they had what they needed. The problem in Cook County and Chicago today is not police departments working on needed reforms, but hyper-woke legislators, prosecutors and judges who are endangering public safety by installing revolving doors in our police stations and jails.”

In the post on his campaign website Hosty also touted his experience in local government.

“For more than a dozen years I helped lead my community as an elected municipal official, including eight as the senior member of our board. I learned about the interaction among our county, state and federal governmental entities to achieve the best possible results for the west suburbs. I would like to bring those experiences to Cook County government to help reorder its financial priorities and operational efficiencies,” Hosty said.

Hosty served four terms as the president of the Forest Park Chamber of Commerce. Now, according to the web site, he works primarily as a real estate broker.