The forthcoming primary election is much more important than it may seem. Right now it seems a safe bet that Barack Obama, an Oak Park favorite, is likely to carry the state. And our senators (U.S. and state) Dick Durbin and Don Harmon are running unopposed. So why vote?

There is a reform movement afoot in Cook County. For many decades, Democratic politics in Cook County have been dominated and controlled by the machine. Party workers would get out the vote and go to fundraisers in exchange for jobs and favors. Thanks to some court rulings, things are beginning to change. But we still have some entrenched machine politicians.

Don Harmon, our state senator from Oak Park, is also a Democratic Party committeeman, and he is a powerful voice of reform in the party. It is important that everyone who opposes the old machine gets out to vote for the reform slate supported by Don Harmon.

Included in Don Harmon’s slate are Deborah Graham for state representative, Larry Suffredin for state’s attorney, and Ed Smith for recorder of deeds. For Water Reclamation District there are Kathleen Meany, Dean T. Maragos, and Frank Avila. On the judicial ballot, Anne M. Burke, Alan J. Greiman, John O. Steele, Lauretta Higgins Wolfson, Jesse G. Reyes, Maureen Ward Kirby, Marilyn F. Johnson, Thomas J. Byrne, Thaddeus L. Wilson, Paula M. Lingo, Michael B. Hyman and Joan Powell are recommended.

But even if you don’t support reform politics and even if you’re a Republican, I urge you to vote in this important election.

Allen Matthews
Oak Park

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