Endorsement: Shapiro as Cook County circuit court clerk
We're back to where we were four years ago, and four years before that. Dorothy Brown has been the circuit clerk of Cook County for 16 years, elected in 2000 with an aggressive agenda of modernizing and updating the nation's second-largest unified court system.
Since then, lawyers and judges in the Cook County circuit court system who were excited by her agenda have been disillusioned. The plodding reforms, or lack of them entirely, and what critics charge is an overstuffed, patronage-laden workforce, hurt ordinary people and frustrate those who work there.
It's all too bad, because Brown is smart and highly educated -- she has a law degree and a master's degree in business administration and is a CPA. Someone with her skill set should be running the best-performing circuit court in the land. It's far from that.
Brown's Republican opponent is Diane Shapiro, who was a county probation investigator before she retired and who has significant experience in the court system. Shapiro also ran in 2012 and 2008, and while we don't know if Shapiro has the skills to efficiently run the multi-million-dollar entity that is the Cook County court system, we think voters should give her the chance to try. Shapiro is endorsed.