LGBTQ Democrat candidate for Cook County Board calls Republican ad homophobic

Illinois Republican Chairman Timothy Schneider, left, speaks to the City Club of Chicago at Maggiano’s in 2014. (File Photo. | Michael Schmidt/Sun-Times); Democratic challenger Kevin B. Morrison, right, Cook County Board Democratic primary candidate in February. (File Photo.| Rich Hein/Sun-Times)
Morrison used this graphic from the GOP ad in fundraising materials on Thursday. (Courtesy of Equality Illinois PAC)

CHICAGO — An out Democratic candidate for the Cook County Board on Thursday accused his Republican opponent of running a homophobic campaign ad, the Chicago Sun-Times reported.

Jake Morrison told the newspaper that the ad for Commissioner Tim Schneider, which shows him as a puppet and with a “limp wrist,” is a “bigoted caricature of gay people.” Pulling back on the add shows Illinois House Speaker Mike Madigan “pulling the strings.” The ad was paid for by the state GOP that Schneider is chairman of.

Illinois GOP Executive Director Travis Sterling told the Sun-Times that Morrison’s accusation was an attempt to distract from what he called the message of the ad. “The whole image paints the entire picture clearly,” Sterling said in a statement to the newspaper. “This is nothing but a desperate attempt from Kevin Morrison to try and hide the fact that he takes his orders from Tony Preckwinkle and Mike Madigan.”

The Sun-Times reported that Morrison has taken money from Preckwinkle, who is Cook County Board President and leader of the county Democratic Party, but hasn’t received any money from Madigan. He did use the add, cropped to focus on the image of him, in fundraising materials on Thursday.

Equality Illinois PAC denounced the ad on their Facebook page:

“The Equality Illinois PAC is deeply disturbed that the Chairman of the Illinois Republican Party would exploit a shameful anti-LGBTQ stereotype and homophobic imagery against openly gay candidate Kevin B. Morrison for Cook County Commissioner. The irony of this mailer arriving on National Coming Out Day makes it all the more offensive and tasteless. We call on incumbent Tim Schneider to denounce the mailer and affirm his support for LGBTQ Illinoisans.”

If Morrison wins the seat, he would be the first openly LGBTQ person on the county board.

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