A Voter's Guide to Cook County Clerk's Race

 /  March 6, 2018, 9:16 p.m.


This primary season, Cook County Democratic voters will choose between two candidates to be the Democratic candidate for Cook County Clerk.

Why you should care

According to the Cook County Clerk’s official website, the office serves as “the chief election authority for [all of Cook County],” one of the largest voting districts in the nation. In this role, the office of the Clerk is responsible for election security, accessibility and integrity. Additional responsibilities include maintaining birth, marriage and death records and helping property owners to redeem delinquent taxes.


  1. Karen A. Yabrough received her bachelor’s degree in business management from Chicago State University and master’s in inner city studies from Northeastern Illinois University. She served for twelve years in the Illinois House of Representatives, and since 2013, she has served as the Cook County Recorder of Deeds. As Recorder of Deeds, Yarbrough manages a high volume of records while managing a large staff and budget. If elected, she plans to “change the office of county recorder from a place where property fraud happens, to a place where property fraud is confronted.”
  2. Jan McDonald received her bachelor’s degree from the University of Illinois before completing her JD at John Marshall Law School. Professionally, she has worked as a self-employed attorney.

Important! The Cook County Electoral Board voted to remove McDonald from the ballot, but she has since appealed the decision, and the judges have not ruled either way. As of right now, her name will remain on the ballot.

Bottom Line

Right now, Yarbrough seems to be leading the race, especially due to the controversy surrounding McDonald’s eligibility and due to the fact that McDonald is a newcomer to politics. Both candidates have appeared on Chicago Tonight to discuss their platforms, which can be found here: Karen A. Yarbrough, Jan Kowalski McDonald.

The featured image is licensed under the Creative Commons; the original can be found here.

Alexandra C. Price

Alexandra Price is a second year History and Russian Eastern European Studies double major and prospective German minor particularly interested in the Cold War and modern developments in the former Eastern Bloc. As this year's recipient of the Gate's annual Reporting Grant, she spent the summer in Germany reporting on refugee integration in Berlin. When she's not reading for class or writing for the Gate, Alexandra participates in Model United Nations, is a member of the Women in Public Service Project, and enjoys long bike rides around the city.