Committeemen and Committeewomen (Cook County, Illinois)
In Cook County, the city of Chicago is divided into 50 wards that each have elected committeemen for each party in addition to a single elected alderman. In addition, each of the 30 townships within Cook County has a committeeman for each party. The committeemen are elected during the municipal primary elections. The positions are unpaid with responsibilities that include voter registration, community forums, election materials, and election operations. In addition, the committeemen are responsible for producing smooth political processes during the elections in their wards, which includes attempting to produce high voter turnout.
Committeemen are voting members in the political organization of their party in the County. This roles gives them authority on behalf of the party to endorse replacements for some vacated political posts such as United States Congressman and state legislators (vacated United States Senate posts are appointed by the Illinois Governor and vacated Chicago City Council posts are appointed by the Chicago Mayor).
Operationally, sometimes the committeeman controls the ward, sometimes the alderman controls the committeeman and sometimes the committeeman and the alderman are one and the same. In many cases the committeeman also has influence over the doling out of jobs, favors, and services around the ward. Sometimes a committeeman accumulates sufficient influence to place his loyalists into political positions outside of the ward.
- "Ask Chicagoist: What's a Ward Committeeman?". Chicagoist. Gothamist LLC. February 26, 2007. Retrieved November 19, 2008.
- "Party Officials: Democratic Ward Committeemen". Cook County Clerk's Office. Retrieved November 18, 2008.
- "Party Officials: Republican Ward Committeemen". Cook County Clerk's Office. Retrieved November 18, 2008.
- "Party Officials: Democratic Township Committeemen". Cook County Clerk's Office. Retrieved November 18, 2008.
- "Party Officials: Republican Township Committeemen". Cook County Clerk's Office. Retrieved November 18, 2008.
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- Satre, Tully (January 30, 2008). "Tom Tunney and a Committeeman's Role". Windy City Times. Windy City Media Group. Retrieved November 18, 2008.
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