For Immediate Release:
Dan Kovats, Executive Director, (773) 351-7818 /
Tuesday July 26, 2022

Dem County Chairs Announce 2022 Party Builder Honorees

Hon. Mark Guethle, Hon. Josina Morita, and Hon. Ed Smith to be honored

Springfield, IL – In 2017 the Illinois Democratic County Chairs’ Association (IDCCA) established a Party Builder Award to recognize individuals who have dedicated their lives to growing the Democratic Party throughout Illinois. Today, the IDCCA is proud to recognize Hon. Mark Guethle, Hon. Josina Morita, and Ed Smith as the 2022 Party Builder Award Honorees for their grassroots efforts in building the Democratic Party. IDCCA President Kristina Zahorik released the following statement:

“We are proud to recognize our friends the Honorables Mark Guethle, Josina Morita, and Ed Smith for their work throughout Illinois to build the Democratic Party. Each has been vitally important to the overall growth of the Democratic Party and in electing Democrats. They continue to play critical roles building a strong infrastructure of Democrats dedicated to service and democracy, and who support our shared values. It is an honor to recognize them for their service to the Democratic Party.”

The Honorable Mark Guethle is a seasoned community organizer and labor professional who served as the Director of Governmental Affairs for Painters District Council No. 30 for over 30 years. Guethle is a role model  for building a successful County Democratic Party and electing Democrats. He has the distinction of helping elect a record number of Democratic women to office in and from the collar counties. He serves as the Chair of the Kane County Democratic Party, Vice President of the Illinois Democratic Chairs’ Association, and North Aurora Village Trustee. He is a past elector to the United States Electoral College and former Democratic Party of Illinois State Central Committeeman for the 14th Congressional District.

The Honorable Josina Morita is a pioneer for Democratic women and the Asian American community. In 2016, she became the first Asian American elected to countywide office in Cook County when she was elected to the Metropolitan Water Reclamation District. In November, when she wins her latest election, she will become the first Asian American woman to serve on the Cook County Board. Josina is a founding chair of the Illinois Asian American Caucus and the country’s first Mamas Caucus. She is an active member of the IDCCA Leadership Circle, serves as the Chair of the Niles Township Democratic Party, and assists Democratic Parties, candidates, and volunteers throughout Illinois.

A leader in Organized Labor, the Honorable Ed Smith has been a giant within the Democratic Party in southern Illinois and throughout the country. After joining Laborers’ Local 773 at the age of 13, he was elected Business Manager at the young age of 21. He would later become the International Vice President and Midwest Regional Manager of LiUNA. He has served as the CEO of Ullico, Inc since January 2011, assisting labor unions and employers with insurance and financial services. Ed continues to work to build County Democratic Parties throughout Illinois and serves on the IDCCA Leadership Circle.

Guethle, Morita, and Smith will be recognized at the County Chairs’ Brunch at the BOS Center in Springfield, IL on Wednesday, August 16th, at 9am. They join Hon. Greg Harris, Hon. Toi Hutchinson, and the Hon. Heather Steans as the 2022 Honorees of the IDCCA Party Builder Award. For more information or tickets to the County Chairs’ Brunch, go to