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updated: 3/22/2012 1:04 AM

Patlak victory not a matter of geography

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  • Dan Patlak who won the Republican primary for the Cook County Board of Review views election results with volunteer Israel Smith of Matteson center and campaign manager Ken Jochum of Arlington Heights at the Wheeling Township Republican headquarters in Arlington Heights.

       Dan Patlak who won the Republican primary for the Cook County Board of Review views election results with volunteer Israel Smith of Matteson center and campaign manager Ken Jochum of Arlington Heights at the Wheeling Township Republican headquarters in Arlington Heights.
    JOE LEWNARD | Staff Photographer

 
 

Tuesday's primary election pitted Wheeling resident and Cook County Board of Review Commissioner Dan Patlak against south suburban Republican Sean Morrison.

With that battle behind him, Patlak is looking forward to the general election in November, when he'll face Democrat Casey Griffin, also from the south suburbs.

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Some observers of the primary campaign suggested that a political turf war between Republicans from the north end of the county and those from the south helped drive that race.

On Wednesday, Patlak called that idea "a myth." He pointed out that several Republicans from south Cook County townships -- Bremen and Rich townships among them -- endorsed him during the campaign.

"Those kinds of geographic battles do happen occasionally, but it was certainly not the case during my campaign," Patlak said.

Patlak is the District 1 commissioner on the board of review. A look at how District 1 residents voted on Tuesday shows that geography did not always determine the outcome.

Patlak, for instance, actually beat Morrison in Rich and Thornton townships, both on the south end of the county. And Morrison, a Palos Park resident, beat Patlak in Leyden Township, which includes several suburbs near O'Hare International Airport. Morrison also made a strong showing in Hanover Township, where he lost by just 65 votes, according to unofficial vote totals.

"I made sure to reach out to all parts of District 1 as a candidate, and I'm sure my opponent did the same," Patlak said.

Patlak said he doesn't expect geography to be much of a factor during the general election, as the board of review candidates will be representing different parties, and that difference will take center stage.

Griffin, an Oak Forest native who now lives in Midlothian, said geography never came up on the Democratic side during the primary. He ran unopposed Tuesday, part of a slate of candidates supported by the Cook County Democratic Party.

"I was endorsed by the party as a whole," Griffin said. "If there's every been a north-vs.-south thing with them, I'm not aware of it."

Griffin, a former highway commissioner in Bremen Township, works as a deputy recorder in the Cook County recorder of deeds office. He will try to reclaim the District 1 seat that Democrats lost to Patlak in 2010. Patlak beat Democrat incumbent Brendan Houlihan that year by several percentage points.

"I look forward to the campaign," Griffin said. "I think it will be a good race."

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