Sean Morrison likely to be named as Gorman successor

Cook County Commissioner Liz Gorman who retired from the Cook County Board this week after 13 years in office, will continue to hold the powerful position of Orland Township Republican Committeeman, and that will allow her to influence the selection of her successor.

By Ray Hanania

Liz Gorman, Bruce Rauner, Sean Morrison in March 2014

Liz Gorman, Bruce Rauner, Sean Morrison in March 2014

Cook County Commissioner Liz Gorman resigned from office last week to take a Fortune 100 corporate job in the private sector, vacating the seat on the Cook County Board she has held for more than 13 years representing the 17th District.

But Gorman will not be leaving her post as one of Cook County’s most influential Republican leaders, and she will chair the meeting of the 17th District Republican Committeemen Wednesday (July 22, 2015) who will convene to select her board successor.

The likely person to be named is Sean Morrison, the Republican Committeeman of Palos Township. Morrison has been a close and loyal ally of Gorman’s over the years, especially int he battle to confront the Tea Party extremists and far right conservatives who have frequently tried to challenge Gorman because of her centrist and populist positions.

Thought Gorman is a Republican, she has first and foremost been a “reasoned” government official who has governed through common sense and popular voter assent. Much of Gorman’s support has come from conservative Democrats who might have been called “Reagan Democrats” in the 1980s and whose influence continues to grow as they age into retirement and senior voter empowerment.

The Republican committeeman in the 17th Cook County Board district are: Committeeman Kelvin Suggs, Bremen Township; Committeeman Art Niewiardowski, Elk Grove Township; Committeeman Sig Vaznelis, Lemont Township; Committeeman Bradley Stephens, Leyden Township; Committeeman Jim Falvey, Lyons Township; Committeeman Char Foss Eggeman, Maine Township; Committeeman Elizabeth Doody Gorman, Orland Township; Committeeman Sean Morrison, Palos Township; Committeeman Michael Corrigan, Proviso Township; Committeeman Mike Dropka, Riverside Township; and Committeeman Shaun Murphy, Worth Township.

Sean Morrison

Sean Morrison

Gorman has the largest weighted vote of any of the members of the 17th District Republican caucus, making her the automatic chair of the meeting that will be held Wednesday night at 7 pm at Hackney’s Restaurant at 7 pm, 9550 W. 123rd Street in Palos Park, in Morrison’s home township.


Gorman was a popular Republican in a county known for Democratic dominance. But her positions on key issues set her apart from other Republican leaders and made her very popular, and strong enough to easily defeat challenges not only from the conservative end of her party but also from several powerful Democrats, including beating back a challenge from Pat Maher, who was tied to the powerful and respected Democratic Dynasty of Tom Hynes.

She led the battle to repeal the 1 percent Sales Tax hike shoved through the County Board by disgraced former County Board President Todd Stroger. And when Stroger’ successor Toni Preckwinkle sought to reinstate the sales tax hike in a strategy intended to push the state to provide more aide to the financially beleaguered county, Gorman stuck to her guns and opposed the tax hike last week, voting “present.”

Voting “present” rather than voting “no” was a gesture of respect to Preckwinkle who has sought to reach across the political divide. Preckwinkle recognized the rights and issues of the board’s Republican minority, and the influence of Republicans like Gorman.

Illinois today has a Republican governor, Bruce Rauner, in a large part because of the backing Gorman gave Rauner last year. Gorman was instrumental in helping boost Rauner above other Republican contenders who sought to unseat the confused and often contradictory former Illinois Government Patrick Quinn, who entered statewide office as the running mate of disgraced former Governor Rod Blagojevich.

Liz Gorman

Liz Gorman

Like many “civilians” who enter higher office politics, though, Rauner has tripped over himself, blinded by arrogance and ego. Rauner’s biggest mistake was not to appoint Gorman to an influential statewide cabinet position. But that is also Gorman’s good fortune, too. As the state watches as Rauner’s administration deflates in the face of the power Illinois House Speaker Michael J. Madigan, Illinois’ real chief executive, not appointing Gorman did her a favor sparing her a share of Rauner’s increasing embarrassment.

Former Cook County Republican Chairman Sig Vaznelis named Morrison as the Palos Township Republican Committeeman in 2012.

For more than a decade, Morrison has actively supported Republican causes, including the Reagan Library. He is an active member of the National Republican Congressional Committee and the Business Advisory Council of the NRCC.  In 2005, he was awarded the Ronald Reagan Republican Gold medal and, in 2007, was nominated to serve as a Delegate from the State of Illinois at the House Republican Trust Candidates’ Convention.

Then NRCC Chairman former Rep. Tom Reynolds (R-NY) has said of Morrison: “Sean Morrison has long supported Republican ideals like debt reduction and tax reform as they relate to the growth and stability of small business in this country.”

Morrison was chosen for his business background by Cook COunty Republican Party Chairman Sig Vaznelis. Vaznelis retired in 2012 to focus on his engineering business and he was succeeded by Aaron Del Mar.

“I believe Cook County Republican party’s platform is more business friendly and we need leaders from the business community to step up, work with us and be heard in Cook County and in Illinois.  Removing all outside factors, just looking at vision and business backgrounds made Sean the choice for Palos,” said Vaznelis said at the time.

After his appointment, Morrison said, “I’m looking forward to working with all people of good will – my fellow Republican township committeemen, grassroots leaders, businessmen, taxpayers, and concerned citizens – to build a Republican Party we can be proud of.”

Morrison has also performed extensive pro bono work in Cook County and Illinois. In November, Morrison was awarded LEADS 2011 Humanitarian Award for his work with LEADS and the Cook County Human Trafficking Task Force in helping solve missing persons and exploited children’s cases over the years.

A self-made businessman, Sean Morrison, 44, is the Founder and CEO of Morrison Security, Inc. headquartered in Alsip, Illinois. Morrison Security has more than 1,000 employees nationwide. He lives with his wife, Lora, and two children in Palos Park. Morrison ran for the office of Cook County Board of Review in 2012.

Here is Morrison’s official bio:

Sean M. Morrison – CEO and founder of Morrison Security Corporation, Morrison Security Group & Morrison Investigations, Inc.

Mr. Morrison has been in the security industry since 1986, spending seven years in the corporate retail loss prevention field as a district loss prevention manager for two major retail establishments with average sales exceeding two billion dollars annually.

Since 1990, Mr. Morrison has developed, acquired, and sold more than fourteen companies. He has co-managed private offerings of debt and equity and M&A transactions. These transactions included developing complex financial models and company valuations including pro-forma merger analysis and discounted equity valuation.

Mr. Morrison has been an owner/partner in the private security industry since 1993, holding the positions of Director of Operations, Vice President of Operations, and President of a private security firm. In 1999, Sean became the sole owner of Morrison Security.

Mr. Morrison’s experience in the security industry includes clients such as, Motorola, Coca-Cola, Sysco, DOD, ACOE, the Art Institute of Chicago, Northwestern University, South African Counsel General, Chicago Midway Airport, the Field Museum, Twentieth Century Fox, Amsted Industries, Toys R Us, Just for Feet and Staples to name a few.

He has provided security personnel and consulting to high profile events such as; the World Cup Soccer tournament, national political conventions, the Chicago Bulls championship rally parades, the Chicago Marathon and the Taste of Chicago.

Additionally, Mr. Morrison has provided security and risk management consulting to more than 55 clients, including Amerigas, Amsted Industries, All Steel, Arrow Terminals, Allied Transportation, McWhite Wire and Rope, American Steel Foundries, Lear Automotive, United Globe Nippon, Edsal Manufacturing, Corey Steel, Vulcan Materials, Lyons Metals, A & M Castle, and North American Van Lines and Beltman Group.

Mr. Morrison attended Moraine Valley College where he majored in business and accounting. He has served as a board member on several security organizations, and has received numerous awards and commendations for outstanding service and expertise in the security industry. He has been featured on the PAX Television program “Primary Focus”, as a security expert in the area of client confidentiality during executive protection details. Mr. Morrison has also appeared on NBC, ABC, FOX and WGN news networks as an expert on security for high-profile public figures. He has been featured in Crain’s business magazine and numerous other media discussing how terrorism concerns impact the security industry.

Mr. Morrison has spent an extended period of time in Iraq and Afghanistan preparing man camp set up, fulfillment of DOD, ACOE and private sector; security, PSD and construction related contracts.  He has received more than 180 hours of hands on training in Israel on various security & terrorist countermeasure training.

Mr. Morrison is a member of the American Society of Industrial Security, Illinois Security Chiefs Association and the Associated Detectives of Illinois. In 2008, Morrison Security was recognized as a fortune 500 fastest growing firms and Mr. Morrison was recognized as one of Illinois’ top twenty-five businessmen.

In November 2011, Mr. Morrison was honored as the recipient of the 2011 LEADS Humanitarian Award for his work in helping solve missing persons and exploited children cases.  He currently does pro bono work with the Cook County Task Force on Human Trafficking.

Ray Hanania

Ray Hanania

Blogger, Columnist at Illinois News Network Online
Ray Hanania is senior blogger for the Illinois News Network news site. He is an award winning former Chicago City Hall political reporter and columnist who covered the beat from 1976 through 1992 (From Mayor Daley to Mayor Daley). And, Hanania is a stubborn and loud critic of the biased mainstream American news media.

Hanania Chicago political beats and Chicago City Hall at the Daily Southtown Newspapers (1976-1985) and the Chicago Sun-Times (1985-1992). He published the The Villager Community Newspapers covering 12 Southwest suburban regions (1993-1997). Hanania also hosted live political news radio talkshows on WLS AM (1980 - 1991), and also on WBBM FM, WLUP FM, WSBC AM in Chicago, and WNZK AM in Detroit.

Hanania is the recipient of four (4) Chicago Headline Club “Peter Lisagor Awards” for Column writing. In November 2006, he was named “Best Ethnic American Columnist” by the New American Media;In 2009, he received the prestigious Sigma Delta Chi Award for Writing from the Society of Professional Journalists. Hanania has also received two (2) Chicago Stick-o-Type awards from the Chicago Newspaper Guild, and in 1990 was nominated by the Chicago Sun-Times for a Pulitzer Prize for his four-part series on the Palestinian Intifada.

Hanania’s writings have been published in newspapers around the world. He currently is syndicated through Creators Syndicate. He has written for the Jerusalem Post,, Newsday in New York, the Orlando Sentinel, the Houston Chronicle, The Daily Star of Lebanon, the News of the World in London, the Daily Yomimuri in Tokyo, Chicago Magazine, the Arlington Heights Daily Herald, The Saudi Gazette, the Arab News in Jeddah, and Aramco Magazine.

Hanania's Chicagoland columns are published in the Southwest News-Herald, the Des Plaines Valley News, the Regional News and the Palos Reporter newspapers.

He is President/CEO of Urban Strategies Group media and public affairs consulting which has clients in Illinois, Florida, Michigan and Washington D.C.

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Ray Hanania