Moroccan American pushed out of office in Cook County
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle wants Arab American voters to think she is a “friend” of the Arab American community. But the truth is Preckwinkle is personally responsible for destroying the career of the only Arab American to ever serve on the Cook County Board, Commissioner John Fritchey. Fritchey is Moroccan and probably the only Moroccan elected official in the country.
By Ray Hanania
On Nov. 6, 2018, voters will go to the polls and elect candidates for local, county and statewide public offices. The choices are the top candidates who won the primaries last March, and you can support Democrats, Republicans, Independents or write-in candidates.
I have one rule when I vote for a candidate: who is most responsive to the needs of the people?
And in Illinois, the most important issue comes down to taxes. Who advocates for unnecessary and unfair taxes, and who doesn’t?
For me, the most important race involving unfair taxes is in the 17th Cook County District where Republican Sean Morrison faces a challenge from newcomer and Democrat Abdelnasser Rashid. As a Democrat and as an Arab American, it doesn’t score many points for me with some that I am supporting Morrison.
Rashid ran a powerful campaign to unseat Sean Morrison who let the community down, not just Arab Americans but mainstream Americans, too. He was a weak leader for the Republican Party and barely defeated Rashid by only 1,377 votes.
I’ve covered politics and engaged in political media consulting since 1976 when I first interviewed Mayor Richard J. Daley at City Hall, invited by him to document Daley’s meeting with the ambassador of the Arab country of Morocco.
Morocco was the first nation to recognize the United States in 1777 after America declared independence in 1776. It’s an event that should not go unnoticed and in a way has real meaning for me in this election race.
Morrison has failed when it comes to protecting the interests of Cook County taxpayers. Morrison has done a poor job representing the taxpayers.
Under Republican pressure, Fritchey and Boykin, were unseated replacing them with allies who she could depend on to support new countywide tax hikes that she is expected to introduce next year if her latest venture to run for Mayor of Chicago fails.
When a few Arab Americans came up to me and complained, asking why I won’t support Rashid, they seem blind to any explanations. I’m not against Rashid who has a great future ahead of him. It’s tragic he did not defeat Morrison.
But I am not afraid to explain to them why.
I always wonder why these same Arab Americans who complain about me have never said one word about that fact that Fritchey was defeated by the absence of support
Fritchey was the ONLY Arab American serving on the Cook County Board, until Preckwinkle, a Democrat, forced Fritchey, a Democrat, out of office. Fritchey, the son of a Vietnam Veteran.
In addition to being the only Arab American on the Cook County board in its entire history, Fritchey may be the only Moroccan American to hold elective office in America.
So much for Morocco being the first nation to recognize America in 1777. And so much for an Arab American on the Cook County board.
If Fritchey decides to run for another office, I promise you I will be there to support him. Right now, I need to find someone to replace Morrison.
(Ray Hanania is an award-winning former Chicago City Hall reporter and political columnist. His personal website is www.Hanania.com. Email him at firstname.lastname@example.org.)
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