Nick Palmer, the chief of staff for Will County Executive Larry Walsh Sr., on Thursday officially announced his campaign to succeed his boss in 2020.
Palmer, who has worked under Walsh since 2004, told a crowded room at the office of the DuPage Township Democrats in Bolingbrook that he wanted to continue the work he and the rest of Walsh’s staff have been doing.
“I want to build on Larry’s legacy of bringing those services to the people, improving the efficiency, bringing more technology in,” said Palmer, 45.
Palmer also touted the work the executive’s office did with both parties and other layers of government to address big issues.
“My mom used to say all the time, ‘It’s nice to be important, but it’s more important to be nice,’ “ he said. “That in our politics today is something that is somewhat slipping away from us.”
Walsh also attended Thursday’s event and officially endorsed his longtime chief of staff. The current county executive recalled how he met Palmer about 20 years ago when Palmer was fresh out of college and eager to get involved in local politics.
“He had the drive,” Walsh said.
Since then, Palmer has served as a deputy chief of staff and then chief of staff for Walsh. He said Walsh has become more than just a mentor and adviser, but “almost like family.”
Walsh announced earlier this month he would not seek a fifth term for Will County executive in 2020, and said his doctors advised him to focus on recovering from prostate cancer.
Other big Democratic names might also enter the race for the county executive seat. State Sen. Jennifer Bertino-Tarrant, D-Shorewood, said this week she still was considering a run, although she hadn’t officially decided yet. Former Braidwood Police Chief Nick Ficarello already announced he would seek the Republican nomination for county executive.