Former Austin Alderman Isaac Carothers, who resigned his City Council seat in 2010 after pleading guilty to federal corruption charges, is looking to make a political comeback.
Carothers announced this week that he'll run for Cook County Board commissioner for the 1st District. Longtime incumbent Earlean Collins will not seek reelection and will retire, according to the Chicago Tribune.
Carothers, 59, served as 29th Ward alderman from 1999 until his resignation. He was indicted in May 2009 on charges including bribery and tax fraud. He served roughly one year of his 28-month sentence and was released in late 2011. Carothers was an influential City Council figure, chairing the powerful police and fire committee. He was also a longtime ally of former Chicago Mayor Richard M. Daley.
Lawyers Blake Sercye and Richard Boykin have already declared their candidacies in the March 2014 primary. Rory Hoskins, a Forest Park commissioner, has expressed interest in running but has not finalized a decision about entering the race.
Former Carothers aide also a candidate
Also announcing for the county board race is Carothers' former chief of staff, Brenda Smith. A West Side activist and business owner, Smith officially entered the race on Sept. 21.
In a written press statement, Smith, a West Sider, promised to lower county taxes and bring more businesses, including construction contracts, to the 1st District. Smith also promises to bring "our entire community together — city and suburban areas — with important information on issues and topics which impact you and your family through social media.
"I will open up Cook County resources, agencies and departments with fresh, new innovative approaches to delivering superior community service," said Smith, who described herself as a "bridge builder."
"My mission: I want to bring families together through exciting, family-friendly events in partnership with local sports and cultural groups," she said, pledging to bring block clubs, neighborhoods and nonprofits together to help West Siders, "prosper and thrive."
She kicked off her campaign with Sept. 21, community event in Austin.