By AARON GETTINGER
Bill Lowry (D) will be Hyde Park – Kenwood’s next representative in county government. He won the election with 85.5 percent of the vote over eccentric political figure George Blakemore (R), a constant presence at public board meetings and party to the Protect Our Parks v. Chicago Park District lawsuit.
“I’m very grateful to every single person who not only voted for me today but, on the way, made time to make a call or open the door when I knocked on it,” said Lowry at the victory party of State Sen. Kwame Raoul (13th), the state attorney general-elect, Tuesday evening.
Earlier on Election Day in Kenwood, Lowry noted the diversity of the Third District, which runs from Old Town and Streeterville through the downtown lakefront into Bronzeville, Hyde Park–Kenwood, Woodlawn and parts of Washington Park, South Shore, Chatham, Auburn Gresham and Ashburn — through 14 wards in all.
“There are a lot of different strengths throughout this district and a lot of areas where we need to work together to create opportunities for those in other areas of the district,” he said. “Everyone talks about job creation — that’s important — but I think job placement’s important. I want to lean on our financial institutions, that we make sure we have support for all businesses, small and large.”
Lowry stated support for programs designed to help citizens returning from prison. He said he has drafted ready-to-introduce legislation that will create a “fast track” litigation process for those incarcerated in county jail for nonviolent offenses.
“Just that, I think, could move the needle, because those who are innocent get the case adjudicated, innocence shown; get back to your home, to your family and your job,” he said.
Mental health care services for Third District residents is another priority. Lowry is additionally looking forward to working with County Assessor nominee Fritz Kaegi: “I’ve said throughout this campaign: we need effective leadership,” he said. “I think it’s time that we collaborate.”
Lowry will succeed retiring Commissioner Jerry “The Iceman” Butler (3rd), formerly a soul singer and a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee.