Suffredin supported, slammed
Jackson Jr., White endorse him; rival hits gambling work
January 7, 2008
BY ERIC HERMAN Criminal Courts Reporter
Cook County Commissioner Larry Suffredin snagged endorsements from two prominent African-American officials Sunday in his race for state's attorney -- but drew criticism for lobbying on behalf of the gambling industry.
Suffredin (D-Evanston) is one of six Democrats vying to succeed Cook County State's Attorney Dick Devine.
Larry Suffredin has won the support of U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. in his bid for Cook County State's Attorney.
With the primary set for Feb. 5, the candidates have one month to grab voters' attention. U.S. Rep. Jesse Jackson Jr. and Secretary of State Jesse White bypassed the two African-American candidates Sunday and threw their support to Suffredin.
"Larry Suffredin is a serious lawyer who will transform the state's attorney's office," said Jackson (D-Ill.).
Suffredin has painted public corruption as the No. 1 issue in the campaign and proposed creating a "public corruption strike force." Jackson said corruption in county government is an especially acute problem.
As a county commissioner, Suffredin "knows where the bones are buried," Jackson said.
'Public needs ... full story'
Suffredin's opponents for the nomination include Aldermen Tom Allen (38th) and Howard Brookins (21st), career prosecutors Anita Alvarez and Robert Milan, and defense lawyer Tommy Brewer. Brookins and Brewer are African American.
Suffredin said the endorsements show he will be competitive in southern Cook County, where he could eat into Brookins' support.
"I am the only candidate reaching out to every part of Cook County," Suffredin said.
But Alvarez slammed Suffredin for lobbying on behalf of casino companies as a lawyer in private practice.
Alvarez, currently Devine's chief deputy, said if casinos come to Cook County, Suffredin would be barred from investigating and prosecuting crimes associated with gambling. She called on him to disclose all of his lobbying work on behalf of casinos.
"Mr. Suffredin seems to be labeled as the progressive, as the reformer. Well, I think the public needs to have the full story," Alvarez said.
Suffredin said he has lobbied for Penn National Gaming and MGM and that he earned less than $50,000 in the last year for the work.
13th District, Larry Suffredin
Jesse Jackson Jr., South Side CongressmanChicago is a great center of both commerce and industry, and if its white collar offices are heavily concentrated in the Loop, its blue collar heavy industries are most visible on the far South Side. This heavy industry Chicago, diminished in importance economically today, is historically significant and, with the remnants of its great hulking factories around Lake Calumet and the nearby rail yards, has a certain undeniable majesty.