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Preckwinkle mayoral announcement roundup

Friday, Sep 21, 2018 - Posted by Rich Miller

* Crain’s

Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle jumped into the mayoral race [yesterday], joining an already huge field of people running to succeed Rahm Emanuel that is getting bigger by the day.

“Chicago can’t be a world-class city if we only focus on downtown,” Preckwinkle said at the Chicago Lake Shore Hotel in East Hyde Park. “The next mayor must make the needs of our neighborhoods their top priority.”

* Chicago Defender

“I’m running for mayor because I want to bring opportunities not just to downtown but real investment to the neighborhoods that have been ignored,” said Preckwinkle. “I want to ensure that every Chicagoan has access to a solid education, feels safe and are thinking about their futures not worried about their present. I know that I can do something to make that hope a reality for all of our mothers, fathers, grandparents, aunts, and uncles who are worried yet feel powerless or ignored.”

Progressive State Senator Omar Aquino, 2nd District, was present also to support Preckwinkle’s mayoral bid. “Chicago is at a crucial time that calls for a progressive leader like Toni Preckwinkle, who is rooted in a new coalition which crosses gender, race, age, and geography. She understands the values of our city and reflects the diversity of its residents and communities and will bring that into the Mayor’s office.”

* Sun-Times

Preckwinkle also faced questions over the resignation of her chief of staff, John Keller. Keller resigned earlier this week after allegations of “inappropriate and disrespectful behavior.” […]

In a brief press conference after her mayoral announcement, Preckwinkle said she couldn’t say much about the situation because she doesn’t want the woman involved “to be victimized a second time.”

She added: “What’s important here is I have zero tolerance towards harassment of any kind. I learned about this allegation on Friday, after corroborating it on Tuesday I demanded his resignation. I believe we need to treat each other with dignity and respect at all times.”

* Tribune

“There are those who have asked, and will ask, why I want to take on this job. I understand their thinking,” said Preckwinkle, 71, who is unopposed on the November ballot for a third term running the county. “I’ve faced no shortage of challenges while in public office. Why would I want to tackle even more?”

Preckwinkle then gave an answer befitting a politician who holds the most powerful post in the Cook County Democratic Party: “I’m doing this because I can. I’m doing this because it’s necessary. I don’t make this decision lightly.”

“Because I can” isn’t exactly “Yes, we can,” but Preckwinkle’s no-frills 20-minute speech reflected a no-nonsense approach she’s long brought to bear, first as a schoolteacher and gun control advocate and later as a Hyde Park alderman and the county’s chief executive. […]

Preckwinkle, who would be the city’s first African-American woman to become mayor, highlighted her work to tamp down gun violence, reduce the county jail population and call out misconduct in the Chicago Police Department. As mayor, she said, she would emphasize the importance of neighborhood schools, push for an elected school board, help enforce police reforms under a new consent decree, work to decriminalize substance abuse and mental illness, collaborate with aldermen and promote neighborhood development along with growth in the Loop, proclaiming, “I’m non anti-downtown, I’m anti-only downtown.”


On education, she stated clearly that she wants an elected school board, and she is opposed to closing any more public schools.

“Schools are more than just buildings, they are anchors in our communities,” Preckwinkle said. “When we close a school, we aren’t just reallocating resources or addressing logistical challenges, we’re making a public withdrawal of support from an already struggling community. The unprecedented loss of so many neighborhood schools has been nothing short of devastating.”

She also scored a big endorsement Thursday from Valerie Jarrett, a top advisor to former President Barack Obama, as well as from the public employee union SEIU. […]

And Preckwinkle’s longtime ally, Cook County Commissioner Jesus “Chuy” Garcia, is expected to get in the race for mayor in the coming weeks. Garcia received a nudging on Twitter from his friend, U.S. Sen. Bernie Sanders, a former presidential candidate.

* ABC 7

“My hope is today is more than a kick-off for a campaign, but a start of a movement,” Preckwinkle said.

Preckwinkle got her start as a high school history teacher and served 19 years as a Chicago alderman before becoming Cook County Board president. While she backed Rahm Emanuel in his last campaign, she criticized many of his decisions Thursday without mentioning his name. Among them, she highlighted what she believes is a lack of police accountability in black and brown communities..


She spoke about the devastating personal toll of violence on Chicago’s South and West Sides.

“Shortly after becoming a teacher, I lost a student to gun violence,” she said. “It’s difficult to put into words, but it motivates me to this day.”

She said police reform will be a priority.

“I won’t apologize for that, nor stop calling out police violence. You can’t fix a problem you won’t acknowledge,” she said.

* CBS 2

Preckwinkle is the second high-profile candidate to jump into the race for mayor this week. Gery Chico, who ran against Emanuel in the 2011 race for mayor, threw his hat in the ring on Tuesday.

Chico, who served as longtime Mayor Richard M. Daley’s chief of staff, president of the Chicago Board of Education, and head of the Chicago Park District and City Colleges of Chicago, has said those experiences make him the most qualified candidate in the race.

More than a dozen other candidates have announced bids for mayor, including former White House chief of staff and Commerce Secretary Bill Daley, Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Dorothy Brown, 2015 former Chicago Public Schools principal Troy LaRaviere, former Chicago Police Board president Lori Lightfoot, former Chicago Police Supt. Garry McCarthy, former CPS Chief Executive Officer Paul Vallas, and millionaire businessman Willie Wilson.

* Related…

* Which Toni Preckwinkle Is Running for Chicago Mayor? Preckwinkle is an early favorite and is poised to run as a progressive. But her record is more complicated.

* McCarthy slams Preckwinkle blaming her for rising violence: In his warning to voters, McCarthy noted, “Toni Preckwinkle has not only manipulated and controlled the budgets of the county’s criminal justice system, but in the process, she has contributed, as much as anyone, to people dying in the streets and to preventing prosecutors and the courts from effectively doing their jobs.” McCarthy claims the manipulation doesn’t stop there. “Preckwinkle, uses race-baiting and outdated Chicago machine politics to accomplish her manipulative goals.”


  1. - Precinct Captain - Friday, Sep 21, 18 @ 12:53 pm:

    The Mayoral Monsoon.

  2. - Real - Friday, Sep 21, 18 @ 1:00 pm:

    The establishment advised Rahm to drop out so they can put in another establishment figure because Rahm would of lost for sure had he not.

  3. - WSJ Paywall - Friday, Sep 21, 18 @ 1:14 pm:

    =The establishment advised Rahm to drop out so they can put in another establishment figure because Rahm would of lost for sure had he not.=

    Considering the caliber of candidates who were in before Rahm dropped out, I don’t see that being the case. Rough election, sure, but I still think he would have pulled it out.

  4. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 21, 18 @ 1:23 pm:

    She is going to destroy the whole lot of em.

  5. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 21, 18 @ 1:25 pm:

    Good luck Chicago, looks like your taxes are going up big time.

  6. - agREEd - Friday, Sep 21, 18 @ 1:35 pm:

    == because she doesn’t want the woman involved “to be victimized a second time.”==

    Oh good God give me a break, what a lame excuse — Keller was on her staff for a decade and she so happens to start worrying about the victim the day before she announces?

  7. - Arsenal - Friday, Sep 21, 18 @ 1:36 pm:

    I did not realize how old she was, and “Because I can” is just god-awful.

  8. - Shytown - Friday, Sep 21, 18 @ 1:38 pm:

    Start of a movement? A movement of more old-politics from someone who’s been in the business for 30 years? Voters aren’t yearning for more of the same, especially someone who’s the chair of the cook country dem party.

  9. - Anonymous - Friday, Sep 21, 18 @ 1:38 pm:

    She articulated a clear platform that contrasts with Rahm’s governance. Would be fun to see a one-on-one debate between her and Bill Daley, but I suspect the candidate forums will have about as many people as are in the 60610 zip code.

  10. - jim - Friday, Sep 21, 18 @ 1:45 pm:

    she represents another potential nail in the city’s coffin

  11. - NeverPoliticallyCorrect - Friday, Sep 21, 18 @ 2:04 pm:

    She’s a perfect fit for Chicago. She will do anything to get elected. Personally, I’ll be glad to get her out of county government.

  12. - West Sider - Friday, Sep 21, 18 @ 2:06 pm:

    -”Preckwinkle is the second high-profile candidate to jump into the race for mayor this week. Gery Chico, who ran against Emanuel in the 2011 race for mayor, threw his hat in the ring on Tuesday.”-
    Man- if your name is “Daley” that’s got to hurt.

  13. - City Zen - Friday, Sep 21, 18 @ 2:30 pm:

    The county runs deep in the red. Chicago runs deep in the red.

    Preckwinkle will do just fine.

  14. - downstate hack - Friday, Sep 21, 18 @ 2:34 pm:

    She would be a diaster, but then again so have the last three mayors.

  15. - DuPage Bard - Friday, Sep 21, 18 @ 2:44 pm:

    Meh lets see who all the names are when petitions are turned in.

    Preckwinkle ran to be County Board Chair and won because Todd Stroger had increased the sales tax. She won on that issue.
    Within 2 years the sales tax was back as well as other increased spending. She lost the soda tax fight and took out all those who went against that in primaries and looks to be clearing out 2 out of 3 GOP members in the meantime.

    One big problem with her announcing for this.
    She is Chair of the Cook Dem party. She is 46 days away from election and supposed to be working to get Dems elected throughout the County. This takes away from that and means she’s not leading the party rather just taking care of herself.

  16. - Silicon Prairie - Friday, Sep 21, 18 @ 2:48 pm:

    Toni would not be good for Chicago. Could you imagine JB and Toni in charge ? While she is articulate , I think the city deserves more a business type as mayor

  17. - ZC - Friday, Sep 21, 18 @ 3:14 pm:

    Oh God after Dubya, Trump and Rauner, save us all from the “business types.”

  18. - Glass half full - Friday, Sep 21, 18 @ 3:36 pm:

    Before Ben Franklin and “ a penny saved is a penny earned” she voted for $1billion dollars in tax increases as an Alderman.

    She also did the Daley’s bidding by beating Tim Evans and basically ending the Harold Washington wing of the party.

    I think she’s got a wake up coming in February but time will tell

  19. - HA8 G0P - Friday, Sep 21, 18 @ 3:41 pm:

    Show of hands - who will hold her short lived pop tax against her?

  20. - JoanP - Friday, Sep 21, 18 @ 4:02 pm:

    =who will hold her short lived pop tax against her?=

    Not I. Of course, I don’t drink soda.

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