Capitol - Your Illinois News Radar » *** UPDATED x1 - Equality Illinois ‘alarmed’ over possible Harris appointment *** Personal PAC warns Democratic committeepersons about Sen. Napoleon Harris
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*** UPDATED x1 - Equality Illinois ‘alarmed’ over possible Harris appointment *** Personal PAC warns Democratic committeepersons about Sen. Napoleon Harris

Monday, Apr 22, 2024 - Posted by Rich Miller

* I was wondering if this was coming. Personal PAC CEO Sarah Garza Resnick…

As the Cook County Committeepeople consider the slating and appointment of a new Cook County Clerk this week, Personal PAC would urge them to examine each candidate’s record on protecting abortion rights. The Cook County Clerk’s office serves an enormous role in both the health of our democracy, and the most personal moments of our lives, administering birth, death, and marriage records. It is important that the candidate appointed to, or slated for, this position supports the fundamental right to bodily autonomy.

One candidate, Senator Napoleon Harris III, has repeatedly shown through his no votes in the General Assembly on the Reproductive Health Act, HB 40, and the repeal of parental notification that he does not support the right to bodily autonomy. He has not stood with Personal PAC and our many allies and partners as we have worked to expand abortion access in Illinois.

Moving forward, Personal PAC intends to endorse in committeeperson races, as the slating and appointment processes are vital components of keeping Illinois 100% pro-choice. Committeepeople who support Senator Harris’s candidacy for such an important role will not be considered as 100% pro-choice incumbents in their next race for Committeeperson.

Expect a vote this Friday. I’m hearing that Cook County Board President and party chair Toni Preckwinkle wants to appoint Chief Deputy County Clerk Cedric Giles to fill the office vacancy through the end of the term.

Other candidates for the ballot appointment include Cook County Commissioners Kevin Morrison and Donna Miller, as well as MWRD Commissioner Kari Steele, although there might be a legal issue with doing that.

By the way, the office vacancy vote will be one vote for each committeeperson. The ballot appointment will be done on a weighted vote.

*** UPDATE *** Equality Illinois CEO Brian C. Johnson…

“It is with great alarm that we hear that Senator Napoleon Harris is under consideration for appointment to the vacancy for Cook County Clerk.

“Senator Harris has one of the worst voting records for LGBTQ+ equality among current Democratic Senators. In particular, he has failed to vote for some of the most essential bills advancing full equality for LGBTQ+ people, including:

    • Marriage Equality (SB 10) 2013
    • Gender identity in Death and Funeral Instructions (HB 3552) 2015
    • Birth certificate modernization (HB1785) 2017
    • Panic Defense Ban (SB 1761) 2017
    • Inclusive Curriculum Bill (HB 246) 2019
    • LGBTQ+ Older Adults Bill (SB 1319) 2019
    • HIV decriminalization (HB 1063) 2021
    • Birth certificate modernization (HB 9) 2023

“As you can see, Sen. Harris has refused to vote for marriage equality, either birth certificate modernization laws, or the gender identity in death law. Given his refusal to support the full dignity of LGBTQ+ people in these critical areas, we are alarmed over the possibility that he might serve in a position with tremendous authority over birth, death, and marriage certificates.”


  1. - DuPage Saint - Monday, Apr 22, 24 @ 4:04 pm:

    i get that the Democratic party is very pro choice and U would understand that they probably want to endorse such a candidate but does it really have that much to do with running the Clerk’s office? Are they going to ask candidates their positions in a Gaza ceasefire?

  2. - Rich Miller - Monday, Apr 22, 24 @ 4:18 pm:

    ===but does it really have that much to do with running the Clerk’s office?===

    Waiting on Equality Illinois’ statement.

  3. - Drury's Missing Clock - Monday, Apr 22, 24 @ 4:29 pm:

    == Are they going to ask candidates their positions in a Gaza ceasefire? ==

    Think you’re confusing an extremely unifying issue for an extremely divisive one.

  4. - CornAl DoGooder - Monday, Apr 22, 24 @ 4:38 pm:

    ==Think you’re confusing an extremely unifying issue for an extremely divisive one.==

    Also confusing a close to home issue with one halfway across the world. There is something to be said for not elevating county-wide leaders who do not support the party position on what will be THE key issue for this election and for a long time to come. It may not have a ton to do with running the office, but there is a symbolic issue for the party there.

  5. - JJJJJJJJJJ - Monday, Apr 22, 24 @ 4:42 pm:

    They are a pro-choice org. They’re saying that they want the party to elevate pro-choice dems within the party. Regardless of if clerk has anything to do with abortion, that position makes perfect sense.

  6. - Excitable Boy - Monday, Apr 22, 24 @ 5:14 pm:

    - Are they going to ask candidates their positions in a Gaza ceasefire? -

    No, because they aren’t a pro-Israel or pro-Palestinian organization. What is so complicated about this?

  7. - H-W - Monday, Apr 22, 24 @ 5:19 pm:

    @ DuPage Saint

    I seem to recall not long ago, a county clerk refusing to sign marriage licenses on religious grounds in Kentucky (I think). I can imagine a person doing the same in Illinois.

  8. - Sycophantic Averse - Monday, Apr 22, 24 @ 5:23 pm:

    “Committeepeople who support Senator Harris’s candidacy for such an important role will not be considered as 100% pro-choice incumbents in their next race for Committeeperson.”

    We really oughta get out of the threats business.

  9. - Gravitas - Monday, Apr 22, 24 @ 5:31 pm:

    A favorite player for the Northwestern Wildcats: Napolean Harris.

  10. - Frida's boss - Monday, Apr 22, 24 @ 5:36 pm:

    So now, if you think Senator Harris would be a good Clerk, you are no longer Pro-Choice? So if President Harmon decides to support one of his members, he is no longer 100% Pro-Choice?
    Are they going to take away Speaker Welch’s 100% rating due to him supporting Rep Candidate Rick Ryan, who has an interesting past on Choice issues?
    Threatening people with this friend-of-a-friend stuff is not good politics. At least not when it’s your own tent.

  11. - JS Mill - Monday, Apr 22, 24 @ 6:18 pm:

    So we are now doing the ilgop purity test stuff in the Idp? I guestbthe purpose of the organization and making a statement, but it could have been more along the lines of “We disagree with this candidate and his positions on these issues and he does not have our support”. The rest sounds like a progressive organization going too far with the threats stuff like CTU.

  12. - Suburban Mom - Monday, Apr 22, 24 @ 6:19 pm:

    Being a pro-life Democrat in Illinois who was born in 1979 seems like a real career-limiting stance.

  13. - Amalia - Monday, Apr 22, 24 @ 6:32 pm:

    nothing would suprise me. Clayton Harris with his anti choice preacher & his donation to Ethan Hastert got only a but he’s not anti choice from Toni & company. I’ve never heard these things about Sen. Harris Glad they are exposing. Hope they don’t pick him.

  14. - Excitable Boy - Monday, Apr 22, 24 @ 7:02 pm:

    - So we are now doing the ilgop purity test stuff in the Idp? -

    Are you ignorant of how Personal PAC has operated for decades?

  15. - Candy Dogood - Tuesday, Apr 23, 24 @ 12:09 am:

    ===but does it really have that much to do with running the Clerk’s office?===

    There’s two takes here; the first is that one generally one should want a public official to agree with the concept everyone who is a human is a human and has basic human or civil rights. Someone who clearly disagrees with who is fully human and decides that some people don’t have the rights of other people probably shouldn’t be handing out permits or be in charge of the entity that does, you know, because they’ve clearly shown that they’re fine with a government that discriminates against women and and LGBTQ folks. So that’s one good reason. Democrats in Illinois don’t need a coalition that includes bigots.

    The second reason is also pretty straight forward. The City Clerk is still a boss. Perhaps we don’t need a boss who doesn’t believe that all of their employees are equally deserving of human rights.

    Which kinds of discrimination do you think should be overlooked when appointing the public official responsible for permits and record keeping?

  16. - Annon3 - Tuesday, Apr 23, 24 @ 8:54 am:

    The ministerial duties of the Clerk could easily impact the LGBTQ+ Community. They have every right to and should express their concerns.

  17. - Jocko - Tuesday, Apr 23, 24 @ 9:19 am:

    ==Being a pro-life Democrat in Illinois==

    Harris is entitled to his beliefs (demonstrated through his abstentions). It’s not unreasonable to ask if Harris will act on them as Clerk.

  18. - Ha - Tuesday, Apr 23, 24 @ 10:34 am:

    Special interests should push their positions, but public officials and party leaders don’t have to dance to their wishes - especially when the administrative office has almost nothing to do with that issue. These purity power plays are similar to the right-wingers and work best in cities with 80 percent Democrats.

  19. - Lincoln Lad - Tuesday, Apr 23, 24 @ 10:57 am:

    With the current national attacks on women’s healthcare and rights, this is extremely relevant. IMO it’s disqualifying for a more significant role. These are times that require unity on principle.

  20. - Cosgrove - Tuesday, Apr 23, 24 @ 3:33 pm:

    Anyone who believes women and LGBTQ people are second class citizens has no place in government. Period. There are no excuses for bigotry and misogyny.

  21. - Shytown - Tuesday, Apr 23, 24 @ 4:26 pm:

    Honestly, I can’t believe we’re having a legit conversation about Napoleon Harris taking this spot.

  22. - Just Sayin” - Tuesday, Apr 23, 24 @ 6:40 pm:

    Considering what has happened Federally and in many states on choice I think it is absolutely appropriate to draw a line here. Clerks become mayors and county presidents and congress persons etc. stop them early is smart strategy.

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