Most of the media coverage regarding the 2008 election has focused on who will succeed George W. Bush as president.

However, the recent decision by lawmakers in Springfield to move the Illinois primary election from the third Tuesday in March to the first Tuesday in February means that one can expect the vitriol to fly earlier in the statewide races.

One politician that has recently announced a desire to challenge for a new seat is 28th Ward Alderman Ed Smith, who plans to run for Cook County Recorder against eight-year incumbent Eugene Moore.

“Any office that an elected official holds should be one that is chaired with integrity, character and responsibility, but I feel [Moore] has done none of that,” said Ald. Smith, who added that Moore has exercised questionable judgment while in office-from the “convoluted bureaucratic mumbo-jumbo” of his Internet website to a recent business trip to Hawaii where Moore allegedly spent over $12,000, more than any politician who went on the same trip. That includes Cook County Clerk David Orr who spent only $2,000.

“Why did he have to spend so much of the taxpayers’ money on this trip? Why can’t he account for his reasoning?” asked Smith. “I have used funds during business trips myself, but they could always be accounted for.”

Smith also noted Moore’s recent picnic on Saturday, Aug. 18 at Proviso East High School. The event was billed as a “Back To School Picnic,” hosted by board of education members. However, most of the participants seemed to be representatives of the Eugene Moore camp.

Many were wearing T-shirts saying, “I support Eugene ‘Gene’ Moore, Recorder of Deeds,” and there was a noticeable lack of banners signifying the event’s supposed “back-to-school” theme.

“It just looked like a political event on school property,” said Smith. “I have been an alderman for 24 years and have never had to answer questions about my ethics or responsibility.

“In order to effect change within the political spectrum, one must start at the top,” said Smith, who celebrated a political victory recently as one of the primary supporters of the smoking ban along with 7th District state Representative Karen Yarbrough. The ban was recently passed by Gov. Rod Blagojovich and will go into effect in nearly all public establishments next year.

Smith says he plans a formal announcement of his candidacy for Cook County Recorder within the next 10 days.