Recent back surgery would not keep Roger Keats from an opportunity to let Cook County voters know there is a Republican primary for Cook County board president.
Equally enthusiastic was Keats' opponent, Attorney John Garrido, a lieutenant in the Chicago Police Department.
"We need some fresh blood, a candidate who is ready and willing to stand up and fight against the Chicago machin, and I am that candidate," said Garrido.
Businessman Keats was a member of the Illinois House, and then, the Senate from 1978 to 1994, a campaign issue for Garrido.
"A wealthy, retired career politician from Wilmette is just not the candiate I am," Garrido said.
"I always chuckle when John says 'career politician.' I haven't run for office in 18 years," said Keats.
A 19-year veteran who earned a law degree during his police career, Garrido demanded to know why Keats took a campaign donation from Warren Batts, the chairman of the county's health and hospital system governing board.
"Isn't that more of the same?" Garrido said.
"Warren Batts is a distinguished man, and for you to question the integrity of Warren Batts, I am offended," Keats said.
Democrats have controlled the county board presidency since 1968. Their four 2010 contenders, including President Todd Stroger, are locked in a close race.
Keats and Garrido left no doubt about the Democrat they'd love to run against.
"Todd Stroger, of course. I'm telling anybody who's a Democrat who cannot pull a Republican ballot, please vote for Todd Stroger," said Garrido.
Keats is endorsed by the Cook County Republican Party. Garrido was endorsed by Chicago's Fraternal Order of Police. Both men want a shot at beating the Democrats in November. It would be a monumental upset.