Roberto Maldonado

Roberto Maldonado is Commissioner for the 8th district of Cook County, Illinois.

Early life

Maldonado earned both his undergraduate and his master’s degree from the University of Puerto Rico, before heading north to Chicago. In Chicago, Maldonado continued his education at Loyola University where he earned his doctorate of philosophy in clinical psychology.

Public service

After completing his education, Maldonado was appointed by Harold Washington as a policy analyst to the newly formed Mayor’s Commission on Latino Affairs. He was later Director of Management Services for the Office of Employment Training. He continued in Chicago politics as the campaign manger for then Alderman Luis Gutierrez.

Cook County Commissioner

Maldonado’s election in 1994 as Cook County Commissioner made him the first Puerto Rican in the nation to serve as a county commissioner.

As a commissioner, Maldonado is Chairperson of the Stroger and Cermak Hospitals, and Law Enforcement and Corrections Committees. Additionally, he serves on nine committees: Business and Economic Development, Contract Compliance, Labor, Real Estate, Department of Corrections, Health and Hospitals, Finance, Zoning and Buildings, and Roads and Bridges.

Running for Congress

July 25, 2007 - Democratic Cook County Commissioner Roberto Maldonado officially announced Wednesday he will run for a congressional seat in 2008.

Maldonado, first elected to the Cook County Board in 1994, is seeking to fill the seat being vacated by U.S. Rep. Luiz Gutierrez (D-Ill.). Gutierrez, who was elected to a seventh term in Congress in 2006, has said he will not run for the position in 2008. Maldonado, the first Puerto Rican in the nation to serve as a county commissioner, according to his website, said in a release announcing his candidacy:

"During my twelve years as a Cook County Commissioner of the 8th District (which includes nearly half of the 4th Congressional District), I have championed legislation that brought homeowners tax relief, won workers a living wage and passed numerous initiatives, including a mail-order prescription drug program, that have opened the public health system for uninsured and underinsured families and seniors.

"I have successfully secured passage of several measures supporting immigration reform, and, recently, I claimed victory in declaring Cook County a 'Fair and Equal County for Immigrants.'

"I will bring this same passion and conviction to Congress. I will work hard to bring fundamental change to outdated, broken laws and policies to meet our 21st century needs."

Earlier this year, Ald. Manny Flores (1st Ward) and Ricardo Munoz (22nd Ward) announced their intentions to run for the seat in 2008.

The Democratic primary will be conducted in February 2008.

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