With the primary election only a month away, faith leaders held an endorsement news conference for Cook County’s top offices. Joining the clergy and slate of candidates was Cook County Democratic Party President Toni Preckwinkle. Facing challenges to their candidacy are Mariyana Spyropoulos, who is running for Cook County Circuit Court clerk; Clayton Harris III, who is running for Cook County State’s Attorney, incumbent Larry Rodgers Jr., who is running for Cook County Board of Review and Kari Steele, who is running for reelection as commissioner on the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District.

“When we met in August, each of these candidates was supported overwhelmingly by the party. These were not narrow choices,” said Preckwinkle. “I think that’s a reflection of the breath of the support they enjoy in the party and their strength individually as candidates.”

Currently, serving as a commissioner on the MWRD, Spyropoulos is challenging Iris Martinez. The former state legislator won the office in 2020 after long time clerk Dorothy Brown decided not to run for reelection. Since taking over the office, complaints about the operations continue.

Primarily, an administrative office, the clerk is in charge of keeping the court system’s records. Cook County is the largest unified court system in the world.

“There’s mismanagement and dysfunction currently in the office,” said Spyropoulos. “I’m bringing my proven record of leadership with the Water Reclamation District, with fiscal responsibility–making sure we have a balanced budget. There’s millions of dollars that goes through the clerk’s office that has to be distributed to municipalities that rely on that money and it’s not being done.”

Spyropoulos said if the Cook County Circuit Court clerk’s office is not run properly, it can have a real impact on people’s lives in terms of evictions, child support and loss of homes. An attorney for 25 years, Spyropoulos plans to bring an independent inspector general to the office and make the justice system more accessible to communities.

So far, Spyropoulos has received 150 endorsements from media, elected officials and unions.