Residents of Des Plaines, and some in Elk Grove Village, Rosemont and Park Ridge, might well be bewildered to learn they need an understanding of Orland Park politics in order to vote knowledgeably in the Republican primary for Cook County Board District 17 commissioner. Redistricting has put most of Des Plaines in the 17th. The politically relevant part of the district, however, is Orland Park and Tinley Park. There, the organization controlled by current Cook County Commissioner Elizabeth "Liz" Doody Gorman, of Orland Park, is powerful. Dr. Barbara Bellar, Gorman's primary opponent, argues the organization is too powerful, that Gorman is too cozy with Democrats and that Gorman's personal financial troubles -- bankruptcy, home foreclosure -- make her unqualified to be trusted with the public dime. In the 17th, however, Bellar is not the candidate to replace Gorman, who has held the solidly Republican seat since 2002. Bellar, of Burr Ridge, is both a doctor and a lawyer, which is impressive. She is marketing herself as a "real" Republican, one conservatives can rally behind. If she had some political experience, she would be worth a closer look, but this isn't her race. Gorman's detractors say she is too close to Democrats, but we think working across the aisle is the only way for a Republican commissioner to matter at the overwhelmingly Democratic county board. Bellar says she won't compromise her principles, but being an ideologue won't get the county's business done. Gorman, for all her political heavy-handedness, works hard at being a county board member and has established herself as an important contributor. For that reason, we endorse Gorman in the Republican primary.Copyright © 2014 Paddock Publications, Inc. All rights reserved.