Dems to replace state rep they sent to Senate
Thursday meeting set for Hendon saga's next act
03/21/2011 7:09 PM
As the saga of departed State Sen. Rickey Hendon goes on, Chicago Democrats will meet Thursday to appoint a replacement for the woman they appointed to his seat.
A group of 10 Chicago’s Democratic Ward Committeemen will meet at Moretti’s Restaurant in the West Loop Thursday afternoon to replace former State Rep. Annazette Collins, the same place the committeemen picked Collins for Hendon’s seat last Monday.
The group will be led by Secretary of State Jesse White, in his capacity as the 27th Ward’s Democratic committeeman.
One of the front-runners to replace Collins in the House will be mayoral also-ran Patricia Van Pelt-Watkins. While Van Pelt-Watkins’ mayoral campaign didn’t take off, she seemed to garner much more support in the back room of Moretti’s as she lobbied for Hendon’s seat.
Though she fell short in that campaign, White said after the meeting that Van Pelt-Watkins had come in second place during the voting to Collins.
This time, White said, Van Pelt-Watkins may have an excellent chance at the seat.
“She may be one of the front-runners,” White said Monday afternoon. “But most importantly, we’re looking for someone who’s a loyal democrat. We’ve got some serious issues, and we want to make sure they get done down in Springfield.”
Cook County Commissioner John Fritchey, who’s also Democratic committeeman for the 32nd Ward, wrote on Twitter during the hearings to replace Hendon that he too liked Van Pelt-Watkins.
“Impressive presentation by Patricia Watkins,” he wrote. “Lots of Springfield experience.”
The meeting to appoint Collins’ replacement will be from 2 p.m. until 4 p.m. on Thursday, White said. Moretti’s is located at 1645 W. Jackson Blvd. in Chicago.