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The Will County Democratic Central Committee announced Friday its members made a "rare" endorsement in the race for county coroner.
The party unanimously decided during a meeting on Thursday to back former Will County Board member Laurie Summers for the nomination to be the next coroner, according to a news release. The party said the endorsement came about because of "extraordinary circumstances."
Summers is running against Sean Talbot, a Bolingbrook police officer, in the primary race. The party voted unanimously to endorse Summers over Talbot because, it said, he'd only voted in Republican primary contests.
Talbot has said he'd voted for members of both parties, but had voted in Republican primaries three times over the past 18 years. Still, he's said he'd voted for Will County Democratic candidates in general elections.
The party also cited Talbot's public explanation for why he's running as a Democrat in the coroner's race as a political strategy.
At a candidates forum in Bolingbrook on Jan. 22, when asked about his electoral voting record, Talbot said, "All the research I did prior to deciding to run ... reflected that I should run Democrat."
He also later said he shared some views with the party, such as a strong belief in unions. Still, the party aimed to display a united support for Summers in the primary race.
“Laurie Summers has the support of incumbent Coroner Patrick K. O’Neil and as deputy chief coroner is ready to start the job on day one,” Bill Thoman, chairman of the Will County Democratic Central Committee, said in the release. “She brings a breadth of medical experience as a Registered Nurse and knows county government like the back of her hand.”
Thoman also has said he believed Summers was the only Democrat running in the primary.
Summers served on the Will County Board representing District 1 from 2016 until 2019 and is the chairman of the Crete Township Democrats. She works as the deputy chief coroner under O'Neil.
The Illinois primary election is March 17.