Brookfield resident Kimberly Jagielski knows she is a decided underdog in next week’s election, running for a spot of the Cook County Board as a Republican, but she doesn’t mind.
The 51-year-old Cook County probation officer is making her first run for public office, challenging incumbent Cook County Board Commissioner Frank Aguilar, a Democrat. in the 16th District, which stretches from Garfield Heights in Chicago to Westchester and Northlake and includes Riverside and most of Brookfield.
“I love being the underdog; that just makes it even better,” Jagielski in a recent interview with the Landmark. “We need change. I’m tired of all the crime, I’m tired of being dominated by a one-party regime that is benefiting them not the people.”
Like many Republicans, she is critical of the SAFE-T act which will eliminate cash bail on Jan. 1. She said she understands and even agrees with the concept behind eliminating cash bail but says that the law is poorly written. Crime is a major issue for her, and she wants to at least hold the line on taxes.
“I stand for law and order, term limits and no tax hikes,” Jagielski’s website states.
Aguilar was appointed to the Cook County Board in 2020 after former County Board member Jeff Tobolski resigned.
Tobolski, who also served as the mayor of McCook, eventually pleaded guilty to accepting bribes. Aguilar, who is from Cicero, was once a Republican state legislator but is now a Democrat. He has close ties to Larry Dominick, the president of Cicero. Aguilar is a former chairman of the Morton College Board of Trustees.
Aguilar could not be reached for comment.
State Senate 11th District
In the race for state senator in Illinois’ 11th District, two candidates are vying to succeed Sen. Steve Landek (D- Bridgeview), who dropped out of the race in April after initially filing to run for re-election.
The heavy favorite is Democrat Mike Porfirio of LaGrange, who grew up in Bridgeview and is a member of the Lyons Township Board. He’s been a loyal lieutenant to Landek in recent years.
In what was clearly an orchestrated move, Porfirio filed his nominating petitions on the last day they could be filed in March after Landek had filed on the first day. Once Landek dropped out of the race in April, that left Porfirio as the only candidate in the June Democratic primary.
Porfirio, 40, is a graduate of the United States Naval Academy and serves as a commander in the U.S. Navy Reserve. Challenging Porfirio is Republican Thomas “Mac” McGill.
The 57-year-old McGill lives in the Garfield Ridge neighborhood on the Southwest Side of Chicago and is a former investigator for the Cook County Sheriff’s Department who now owns a Medicare health insurance agency.
McGill decided to run after no Republican ran in the primary. He has made crime and his opposition to the SAFE-T Act his main issue. He said he was also motivated to run because Porfirio is close to Landek, who is close to Mike Madigan, the now indicted former Speaker of the Illinois House of Representatives.
“Mike Madigan lives in my district,” McGill told the Landmark. “I know Madigan and that’s one of the reasons I’m running.”
At a recent Zoom candidate forum Porfirio, like most Democratic state legislature candidates, attacked McGill on abortion, linking him to Republicans who oppose abortion rights. During the forum McGill said that he would not support changing Illinois abortion laws.
“Seems to be a hot topic nowadays and I say to each their own, do what makes you happy, but there has to be a medium somewhere,” McGill said.
Porfirio made his position on abortion clear.
“I support a woman’s right to choose, I support a woman’s right to make these decisions, I support her bodily autonomy,” Porfirio said.
McGill and Jagielski are both former Democrats, but they both say that the Democratic Party has changed.
“I’m the same girl I always was, Jagielski said. “I didn’t leave the Democratic Party, the Democratic Party left me.”
McGill said the is really an independent and that he is running as a Republican because it is easier to get on the ballot as a major party candidate than as a third-party or independent candidate.
“It came down to collecting 10,000 signatures or 334,” McGill said in a text message. “If by the grace of God I win, the GOP already knows I would become an independent. They are so unorganized. They’re a hot mess.”