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Boykin won’t challenge Preckwinkle for county board president

Thursday, Sep 28, 2017

* Boykin confirmed it at a press conference after this story was published

Cook County Commissioner Richard Boykin will announce later Thursday morning that he will not oppose Toni Preckwinkle for the board president position.

In recent months, Boykin has been an outspoken critic of the controversial beverage tax. He has led rallies calling for the repeal of the tax and has told reporters “Preckwinkle must go,” so his decision not to run has surprised many.

Boykin is also announcing his political intentions before the Oct. 10 vote on a possible repeal of the tax, with a chance of a second vote on October 11th, depending on the first vote’s outcome.

Political strategists believe Boykin, who once worked for Congressman Danny Davis, may be waiting to consider that Congressional seat when Davis chooses to retire.

Considering how poorly Preckwinkle and her pop tax are polling, it’s kind of amazing nobody has yet emerged to take her on. Yes, she has powerful allies and power of her own, but this contest is ripe for the picking.

- Posted by Rich Miller        

  1. - anonymous retiree - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 10:49 am:

    That is too bad he is not running. Would love to see someone take her on. This pop tax is ridiculous

  2. - Ravenswood Right Winger - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 10:54 am:

    Dear Cook County GOP: Please run someone.

  3. - DuPage Bard - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:00 am:

    Can Hillary Clinton do a City Club event and call Toni Preckwinkle the luckiest politician ever.

  4. - Curl of the Burl - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:02 am:

    I wish Rep. McAuliffe would run for this post. I know it would likely cost the House GOP the only Chicago-based House seat they have but the prospect of a battle-tested and hard-charging Republican becoming Cook County Board President is fairly enticing. I know this is likely a pipe dream but it makes more sense than some also-ran that the Cook County GOP always seems to find.

  5. - Anonish - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:04 am:

    Boykin’s not brave enough to risk his seat in the run.
    He tries to govern by press event and maybe, sometimes, by actual governance. He is more visible than his predecessor, but not any better for his district in my opinion.

  6. - Grand Avenue - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:06 am:

    Brandon Johnson from the CTU had been circulating for Boykin’s seat - he might still file for it any way because Preckwinkle would love to get Boykin off the Board - but I think Boykin is too popular and too good a fundraiser to be defeated for re-election.

  7. - Amalia - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:07 am:

    Dear Dems: someone step up and challenge Toni. yes, it’s become a racial thing in Chicago/Cook County and that is certainly a factor in how people think about the political games. but this is no way to run a government. it’s fiscally shameful.

  8. - Grand Avenue - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:07 am:

    Also, Frank Coconate is running for the Republican nomination against Preckwinkle.

  9. - Grand Avenue - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:10 am:

    “Political strategists believe Boykin, who once worked for Congressman Danny Davis, may be waiting to consider that Congressional seat when Davis chooses to retire.”

    There’s no “may be” about that.

  10. - Arsenal - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:12 am:

    I suspect that with word that the Speaker is gunning for the pop tax, most potential opponents think/fear it won’t be a potent issue by the spring.

  11. - Roman - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:14 am:

    Is it possible that her approval ratings are still relatively high despite the hatred of the pop tax? That doesn’t make much sense, but I don’t know how else to explain the lack of challengers.

  12. - Shocked... - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:26 am:

    So I’m presuming Mark Kirk’s endorsement is once again up for grabs?

  13. - Grand Avenue - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:27 am:

    Are you thinking what I’m thinking?

    Willie Wilson for County Board President!

  14. - Just Observing - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:29 am:

    === That doesn’t make much sense, but I don’t know how else to explain the lack of challengers. ===

    The other reason is that it’s a scary, exhausting prospect to put yourself and your family out there, have to raise a ton of money, have to work your butt off, spend political capital, go up against a still formidable opponent… only to possibly lose in the end.

  15. - PK - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:30 am:

    Bridget Gainer? John Fritchey? Mike Hastings? Someone please run.

  16. - LevivotedforJudy - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:31 am:

    That is a shocker. If there was ever a chink in Preckwinkles armor, it was right now.

  17. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:38 am:

    The fact that you ridiculously need more signatures to run countywide in Cook than you do to run statewide has a lot to do with keeping some folks out of contention.

  18. - @MisterJayEm - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:45 am:

    When was the last time someone used the County Board presidency as a springboard to higher office?

    To want to run for Cook County president, you have to want to be Cook County president — and not many people want to do that tough and thankless job.

    – MrJM

    Note: It was Richard B. Ogilvie in ‘68.

  19. - Rich Miller - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:49 am:

    ===When was the last time someone used the County Board presidency as a springboard===

    Dick Phelan ran for governor.

  20. - walker - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:49 am:

    MrJM has it right. Trying to run Cook Co government destroys political reputations, no matter how good you are.

  21. - Anonymous - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 11:58 am:

    The most vocal Anti Preckwinkle person has been Cook County Commissioner Morrison. The media and beverage people love him. He also has ties with the unions through his family. The guy has the money to self fund and would give the GOP a legit chance at winning IMO

  22. - @MisterJayEm - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 12:02 pm:

    “Dick Phelan ran for governor.”

    I should have said ’successfully’ as Phelan didn’t make it through the Democratic primary.

    – MrJM

  23. - Ron Burgundy - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 12:25 pm:

    –Dear Cook County GOP: Please run someone.–

    Add the word “viable” at the end I’m with ya.

  24. - Just in - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 12:33 pm:

    Drury announces he’s moving to cook county and running for president, as a former ausa he’s against the poptax? snark

  25. - Fax Machine - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 12:42 pm:

    The Republicans best option against Preckwinkle might be Dan Patlak from the Board of Review - he already represents 1/3 of Cook County, he’s in the middle of a 4 year term so he’s not giving up his seat, plus he can raise $ from property tax attorneys in addition to potential beverage industry funding.

    Not exactly the most charismatic guy, but if you’re looking for Republicans in Cook County, the pickings are kind of slim.

  26. - A guy - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 12:54 pm:

    Boykin has successfully learned the lesson of how to run for something and then withdraw early at the hand of the master at this strategy.

  27. - Biker Man - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 12:56 pm:

    - fax machine - only one problem with that Dan Patlak went to all the republican commissioners asking them NOT to vote against the soda tax because the loss of income would affect his office budget. Hard to run against a issue when the Dem candidate can show how you supported it.

  28. - ZC - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 1:14 pm:

    I just don’t know. A Republican wants to run against Toni - in 2018, when anti-Trumpism will (I predict) still be high? Peraica couldn’t beat Stroger in the last “GOP backlash year,” 2006, and whatever you think of her, Preckwinkle is no Todd Stroger.

    A Republican trying to climb the Cook County mountain is a slippery task at best, and 2018 is not the year.

  29. - old time golfer - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 1:22 pm:

    -ZC- I agree with you to a certain point. It is a very slippery hard climb but Peraica is a bad comparison. He had Proft running that campaign and not ONE County Commissioner Rep/Dem backed him Zero.

  30. - Responsa - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 1:49 pm:

    If no one viable either on the Dem or R side is courageous and willing to challenge Toni at this, her lowest time –and if Cook County residents do not rise up with torches and pitchforks to demand a contested election after the “sweetened beverage” fiasco — then the residents will get what they deserve and that will be moar Toni.

  31. - West Side the Best Side - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 2:55 pm:

    Responsa - While I agree with your sentiment, no amount of torches and pitchforks can make someone run for office. There are all kinds of reasons someone would not want to be involved in running for and holding office. (See: e.g. the GA drop-out rate this year.) But if there are politicians out there who aren’t all that happy with Toni and don’t run they will get what they deserve and have only themselves to blame when she rides roughshod over them in the future.

  32. - James - Thursday, Sep 28, 17 @ 3:29 pm:

    =To want to run for Cook County president, you have to want to be Cook County president — and not many people want to do that tough and thankless job.=

    Mr.JayEm nailed it above.

    Boykin doesn’t want to be the person who has to resolve Cook County’s need for more revenue. Too much work and stress. He can wait his turn to replace Davis as a backbencher in Congress, then say the popular things and be appreciated by his constituents.

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