David Orr

David Orr

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David Orr

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David Duvall Orr (born October 4, 1944) is an American Democratic politician from Chicago, Illinois. He was Alderman of the 49th Ward in Chicago from 1979 to 1991. In 1987, he served briefly as Mayor of Chicago after the death of Mayor Harold Washington. Since 1991, he has been County Clerk of Cook County. As County Clerk, he is responsible for the third largest election district in the United States (among other duties). Orr is a graduate of Simpson College in Indianola, Iowa.

Aldermanic career

Orr entered politics as an "independent Democrat", opposed to the official Democratic Party organization. The party organization was then controlled by the "Machine" created by the late Mayor Richard J. Daley, who died in 1976. In 1979, Orr was elected Alderman from the 49th Ward, in the far northeastern corner of Chicago (the Rogers Park neighborhood). He joined with other white "independent" aldermen from the "Lakefront" and black dissident aldermen from the South Side and West Side in opposing the corruption and racism of the Machine. He was re-elected in 1983 and 1987.

In 1983, with the Machine divided between supporters of Jane Byrne and Richard M. Daley, black independent Harold Washington became Mayor. Washington was opposed by 29 Machine aldermen who tried to paralyze city government for three years in what was dubbed "Council Wars". Orr backed Washington, and when the opposition collapsed in 1986, Orr became a leader in the...
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