In what may be the earliest announcement ever for a seat on the Oak Lawn Village Board, Patrick McGowan declared his candidacy for third district trustee in the 2015 election.
McGowan’s announcement came on Friday in an email addressed to “Lorraine and Phil” -- an interloper and an institution -- excerpts of which are as follows:
"Patrick McGowan, a Sales Executive for a world-wide materials firm, today announced his candidacy for Trustee in Oak Lawn’s 3rd District which has been held uninterrupted by Trustee Bob Streit since 1991.
“I have been following what’s happening on our Village Board for a long time and I think it’s time for some new leadership and direction in the 3rd District,” McGowan said. “I talked to a lot of 3rd District residents during the last election and they overwhelmingly said they think it’s time for a new Trustee.”
McGowan, 36, says he has spent the last 15 years working in the printing and paper industries, and currently manages a “multi-state, multi-million dollar sales territory.”
He carries the usual pedigree of a life-long Oak Lawn resident, including membership in the St. Linus Men’s Club and several business and trade organizations. He coaches grammar school sports and supports organizations like Park Lawn, Y-ME and the MS Softball Tournament.
Like the current Dist. 3 trustee, Bob Streit, McGowan is an alumnus of Marist High School. He grew up St. Catherine’s Parish in Dist. 6, but has lived in Dist. 3 with wife, Kerrie Corley McGowan for the past nine-and-a-half years.
“I’m sick of the politics and the lack of attention to details like rats in the alleys that go on within the [third] district,” McGowan said. “I’m extremely excited. Nothing is guaranteed in life, but I’m going to give Dist. 3 residents the kind of representation they haven’t been getting from the current leadership.”
McGowan’s first task at hand is to remain on the ballot. Streit, provided that he runs for a sixth term on the village board, knocked his opponent off the ballot in the 2011 election.
The senior trustee nearly lost the election, winning by only 11 votes over his opponent who ran as a write-in candidate. A shell-shocked Streit admitted on election night in 2011 that doing so “may have energized [his opponent’s] base.”
Streit further shocked his supporters when he aligned himself with former Mayor Dave Heilmann, after years of hectoring the mayor from the dais.
Patch recently asked Streit if he were planning to run in 2015 at Worth Township Democratic Committeeman John O’Sullivan’s fundraiser last month at 115 Bourbon Street.
Streit replied, “It’s too far out.”
Nevertheless, the silver-haired trustee is holding a fundraiser on Tuesday at Palermo’s, honoring Oak Lawn’s Senior Citizens Commission members and to discuss Mayor Sandra Bury’s plans of “outsourcing of senior services.” He neglects to mention that the outsourcing is to the park district.
The cost for attending Streit’s Tuesday soiree is $50, $25 for senior citizens. Some village seniors have reported receiving multiple letters from Streit and are now getting cold calls. Food and beverages are complimentary.
McGowan says part of his early announcement is “strategy.” He says he is running as an independent, but has “proactively” reached out to current village board members, as well as former trustee Tom Phelan, to discuss his candidacy.
“I think [Streit’s] vulnerable, but that’s not the only reason I’m running,” McGowan said. “I want to start processing ideas, not be debating the same topics and having it be a constant battle.”
I’m doing my due dillgence,” McGowan continued, “I’m not aligning myself one way or another. I’m running as true independent and will rely on people to help and guide me.”
Informed that a candidate had declared for the third district seat on the village board, Bury responded: "I enthusiastically support a return to ethics, energy and service to the residents of the 3rd District. Mr. McGowan appears to have the "right stuff" in all regards and I intend to reach out to him to discuss his very exciting announcement."