Benigno picks up support from Republicans, grassroots


Tom Benigno secures key support for his 2021 candidacy

Benigno, in his early campaign rallies, has focused on addressing day to day issues and concerns brought up by members of the community.

He has called for greater transparency in Norridge government, and a more inclusive, positive attitude from Village officials.

(By comparison, the Norridge “Improvement” Party administration, is about as “transparent” as a brick wall, and as “friendly” as a hostile porcupine.)

He has mentioned Norridge’s growing rat infestation, which has repeatedly been dismissed and swept under the rug by the NIP government – they just don’t want to deal with it.

Benigno talks about streamlining government, making it more efficient, and of not constantly running to taxpayers for more money – great concepts, that are not being employed by the current regime.

(Earlier this year, I called for a restructuring of Village government and its spending priorities.)

More support for our local schools, including from private sector and foundation donations… who can disagree with that? Especially the younger demographics who have been moving into Norridge.

(I have long called for the consolidation of local school districts).

Benigno has also discussed the need for better businesses coming to Norridge… fewer gas stations, tobacco shops, and Go Bananas-type stores.

These all sound like good government policies in general, which should appeal to the whole political spectrum and non-political types alike.

Republican support

But wait a minute, this can’t be happening – the Norridge Improvement Party kept telling us Benigno was “Mike Madigan’s man in Norridge” when he ran the previous two times, and how Madigan and Benigno would “annex Norridge into Chicago”.

Strange then, how Madigan’s Democratic Organization is supporting Tannhauser, not Benigno, for Village president?

Benigno has been able to pick up notable support from the right and centrist political action groups operating in Norridge.

In contrast to the NIP government’s defunding of the Norridge police, Benigno has indicated support for our cops, a position which is resonating with a local, grassroots Republican group.

Benigno has picked up bipartisan and grassroots backing

Matt Podgorski, chairman of the Northwest GOP Club, spoke in favor of Benigno’s candidacy at Benigno’s August 15 campaign rally.

Benigno, in turn, addressed members of the Northwest GOP at their meeting in late August, where Podgorski reiterated Republican support for Benigno.

The Northwest GOP group consists of Podgorski, and includes Norwood Park Township Republican Committeeman (and IL Senate candidate) Anthony Beckman, IL House District 19 candidate Jeff Muehlfelder, and Chicago 41st Ward Republican Committeewoman Ammie Kessem (who was the GOP IL House 19 candidate in 2018).

Tannhauser’s supporters have been (somewhat hilariously) trying to convince people of the NIP’s “Republican” support, despite Tannhauser and the other candidates’ obvious strong liberal Democratic credentials. I’m not buying it, and neither should you.

Grassroots support

Citizens in Action for Better Government, a grassroots group operating in Norridge and the surrounding area, is also backing Benigno in 2021.

Citizens in Action supported what I consider were center-right Democrats in the 2020 Democratic Party, including Chicago’s Danny O’Toole for 10th Senate district, and Norridge’s Heather Boyle for county water reclamation.

O’Toole performed well against the Madigan-supported Martwick, garnering over 45% of the vote to Martwick’s 54%.

Boyle earned over 216,000 votes in her county-wide election – VERY impressive by any measure, and something she (and Norridge) should be proud of.

On top of that, some Norridge-local grassroots groups, and influential individuals, both of which provided decisive support to the Norridge Improvement Party in 2017, will not be propping up the NIP in 2021.

These people are not really interested in partisan issues, but the every day challenges the people of Norridge face, like taxes, disintegrating infrastructure, schools, and safe neighborhoods.

It seems to me Tom Benigno may be much closer to where the average Norridge resident actually is on the important issues, than Daniel Tannhauser, Frank Avino, and the other Norridge Improvement Party candidates are.

There’s hope yet for good, representative local government coming to Norridge.

Adam Chudzik, Norridge

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