John Doss

The 2023 Forest Park municipal election is shaping up to be competitive, with two mayoral candidates so far and only two out of the four village commissioners fully committed to running for reelection. 

Incumbent mayor Rory Hoskins previously confirmed that he’s running for election. He has at least one challenger. John Doss, former Forest Park Director of Public Works and current Park District of Forest Park commissioner, has long been rumored to be interested in the position. He confirmed last week to the Review that he is running. 

Chris Harris, a previous mayoral candidate, confirmed in an email to the Review Monday that while he remains active in the village he has no plans to run for mayor in 2023.

On the village council front, commissioners Ryan Nero and Maria Maxham confirmed that they were running. Commissioner Jessica Voogd said she hasn’t made the decision yet, and commissioner Joe Byrnes said that he is leaning toward retiring. With the candidate filing deadlines still months away, other candidates could potentially join both races. 

Hoskins announced his intention to run for re-election in a May 21 e-mail to supporters, and he held an election kick-off party at Shanahan’s restaurant, 7353 Madison St. on May 25. As previously reported by the Review, as of April 1, his campaign fund had $756 on hand. 

Doss worked for the Department of Public Works between 1985 and 2021, not counting the years he worked part-time in high school, becoming the department director in 2008. He has also served as an elected park commissioner since 2007. 

As a mayor-elect, Hoskins cited Doss’ decision to hire his own son, John Ryan Doss, as an example of the kind of nepotism he wanted to address in village government. Doss first hired his son as summer help before promoting him to full-time work. At the time, Doss said that his son approached him, and that offering positions to seasonal employees first made sense, since they were already familiar with the department.

“I think corrupt is sort of a crazy word to be used for helping out my son,” Doss told the Review at the time.

Doss confirmed to the Review that he was running, saying that he would make a formal announcement after June 5. He declined to give an exact time and date for when he might make the announcement and declined to elaborate on his campaign platform until the campaign announcement.

According to the Illinois State Board of Elections filings, Doss closed his “Friends of John Doss” campaign committee in the fall of 2013, and there are currently no active committees affiliated with him.