Preckwinkle cruises in Democratic primary, headed to fourth term as county board president
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle cruised to the Democratic nomination in Tuesday's primary election, almost certainly guaranteeing her election this fall to her fourth term leading the county.
The 75-year-old resident of Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood has held the office for a dozen years, and is the first Black woman elected to the post.
Preckwinkle's Democratic primary challenger, Oak Park attorney Richard Boykin, might have been best known during the campaign for aligning himself with Chicago mayoral candidate Willie Wilson's multiple gasoline giveaways at local stations. Boykin and Preckwinkle clashed during Boykin's one term on the county board, when he helped defeat Preckwinkle's "pop tax" on sugared beverages in 2017.
With 95% of the votes counted, unofficial results showed Preckwinkle with 323,933 votes, about 75.3% of the total. Boykin garnered 106,172 votes, or 24.7%. No Republican has come forward as of now to run against Preckwinkle in the fall, when she will be an overwhelming favorite. Thea Tsatsos will be the Libertarian candidate.
Elected president in 2010, Preckwinkle has put her stamp on county government by building a stable budget, which should get a $1 billion boost in pandemic aid from the federal government this year. She's said there will be no new fees, taxes or layoffs in her 2023 budget.
"We entered into this very difficult pandemic period on a really strong financial footing, and as a result we've been able to weather it a lot better than other local governments," Preckwinkle said during a virtual budget presentation with reporters last week. "We're going to figure out how we can be more effective with the resources we have."