by Terri Commonwealth

  It must be the thing to do in this contemporary progressive political age:  win an elected seat and before the paint on your name dries at the front door, parlay your squad for higher office.  Newly elected Justice Trustee John Fairman is trying just that.  With four months of experience as a Village Trustee under his belt, Fairman has filed with the State Board of Elections his Political Action Committee and its intent to run him for the 2010 Cook County Board of Commissioners for the 6th district as a Democratic candidate.  John is the Justice candidate who traded votes for chicken wing lunches on Election Day of April 2009, as reported on WBBM-Am 780.

  Justice is where he got his political wings.  We should all be very thankful that yet another dedicated public servant would work and campaign so hard for his constituents while seeking another office.  Will he succeed in his quest or be sent back to the roost?  Only the voters can decide.  First he must make it through the Primary Election in February 2010.  Then he has to win the General in November.  You have to figure fundraising, campaigning and kissing babies are definitely in his immediate future.  It takes a lot of money to win a seat on the Cook County Board.  It also requires a lot of time traveling and shaking hands.  Will there be any leftover time to dedicate to his Justice post?

  The 6th district is a horseshoe shape with its northwest boundary at the village of Justice were it moves south through Bridgeview, Hickory Hills, Oak Lawn, Chicago Ridge, Worth, Alsip, Palos Heights, and Orland Park.  The district then moves southeast to Tinley Park, East Hazel Crest, Matteson, Richton Park and finishes south at University Park.  Next, the district  winds around the 5th district east to the Indiana border including villages and towns such as Park Forest, South Chicago Heights, Steger, Sauk Village and Lynwood and it finally wraps around the 5th heading north to Glenwood, Thornton, Lansing, South Holland, Calumet City, and finally to Dolton.  In all, a whopping 35 towns and villages are served by the 6th district commissioner, not a small feat for a rookie politician.

  What has he accomplished in the past four months to convince this very diverse electorate that he is worthy of earning a seat on the County Board?  Will he be a reformer or status quo politician?  Can he stand up to the political mechanization we know as Cook County government?  He so far has been taciturn on his goals for the area and will have to do a better job communicating to the voters.  The 6th district is large with many neighborhoods, some are well off and some are struggling.  Four months as a Justice Village Trustee is not a lot of time for Fairman to have explored the constituency he now thinks himself qualified to represent.  He needs to prove himself in one village before he tries to take on 35 more.