With promises of bringing economic development to Will County and eliminating the influence of Chicago politicians, Will County Board member and Forest Preserve District President Cory Singer began his campaign for county executive Thursday at a public event at in New Lenox.
"This campaign is about leadership," Singer (R-Frankfort) said in an interview before his announcement. "We're facing a lot of challenges in Will County. ... It's a critical time for us to move forward. It's about priorities and planning for the future."
Singer is the first Republican to announce his candidacy for the county executive post. If he wins in next year's primary, he will face current County Executive Larry Walsh, who has held the office since 2004.
In his announcement, Singer, who has served on the county board since 2002, was critical of Walsh, claiming the Democrat was not standing up for Will County on key issues. He accused Walsh of cow-towing to Democratic party leaders in Chicago when it came to and even the state sales tax hike of a few years ago.
"We're an export county; we send more money out of here than will ever come back," he said. "If that wasn't enough, the new Congressional map drawn by Chicago politicians makes every effort that your representation in Congress is taken away, and it's replaced by Chicago congressmen."
Singer cited his fiscal responsibility as Forest Preserve District president as one of the reasons why he would be successful as county executive, especially when it comes to bringing new businesses to the area.
"We've done the hard work to pass a balanced budget. We've done the hard work to sustain 6 percent cuts in spending," he said, adding that Forest Preserve workers went without a pay raise for a second year in order to achieve those goals.
By way of an introduction before his speech, Singer received support from County Board Chairman Jim Moustis (R-Frankfort), who said he would be campaigning for the 39-year-old Republican.
"I've developed nothing but fondness for Cory on a personal level," Moustis said. "I think he will represent Republicans well, and I think he will represent the people of this county even better."
"He has vision and the right philosophy of how county government should go forward," he added.
And according to Singer, that vision is to lead Will County toward an economically prosperous future.
"I really believe Will County's best days are ahead of us," he said. "I say this because I know you and so many others of Will County share the belief that our local governments are here to serve and be held accountable And that's the example I intend to set as Will County Executive."