Chicago Sun-Times: ‘Can an independent win here?’

From the Chicago Sun-Times:

Never in Cook County’s nearly 180 years has an independent been elected to countywide office, experts say, but some say it could happen this year.

“I think there’s such upheaval politically that voters may not get hung up on party affiliation,” said Joseph Schwieterman, director of DePaul University’s Chaddick Institute for Metropolitan Development.

“Claypool’s running on that assumption. And if there’s ever a time when that assumption seems reasonable, it’s now,” he said. “Party loyalty is being strained more than ever by the abysmal economy,” and in Illinois, by federal corruption trials that have hit both parties.

Incumbent Assessor James Houlihan is retiring, leaving the office up for grabs. Berrios won February’s Democratic primary and was expected to win the Nov. 2 election handily against Republican Sharon Strobeck-Eckersall and Green Party nominee Robert C. Grota. But in April, Claypool entered the race as an independent, declaring he could be the voice of taxpayers upset over corruption.

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