County board prez…really?

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I’ve been arguing with friends from across the nation that Chicago is now the capital city for African-Americans (sorry D.C.).

I’ve been arguing with friends from across the nation that Chicago is now the capital city for African-Americans (sorry D.C.).

Go on, admit it. The first Black president may now live in Washington, D.C. (I don’t think he legally has to do it, but it is tradition, and the house is free and already furnished), but he’s a Chicagoan. The Western White House is in the Kenwood community!

Cook County, the nation’s most populous county, is home to more Black people than most states can boast. It has seated three different Black people in the United States Senate, was home to the first Black congressman after Reconstruction and elected a Black mayor in Chicago.

And before anyone forgets, Chicago launched three campaigns for the president of the United States by Black men. Everybody seems to forget Jesse Jackson not only ran, but he ran well.

Politics is not a game in Chicago. It is not for the faint of heart.

And if you needed anymore proof of just how important Chicago is, all you have to do is take a look at the stellar cast of characters vying to become the next president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners.

Yeah, that’s right. At a time when the office of governor of Illinois is up for grabs (what with the former incumbent awaiting trial) and the U.S. Senate seat vacated by President Barack Obama in play, the hottest seat in town seems to be the position of president of the Cook County Board of Commissioners.

Incumbent Todd Stroger wants to keep the job. He basically inherited the job from his father, political icon John Stroger, who had a debilitating stroke in office on the eve of the primary election. Todd Stroger stepped in, won the endorsement of the Democratic machine and ultimately vanquished perennial candidate Tony Periaca. But Todd wants another term in office although he is about as popular in Cook County as taxes, which he succeeded in raising.

Not so fast, says Ald. Toni Preckwinkle. She doesn’t think Todd has done a good job as county board president, and she thinks she can do better. She touts her years on the City Council, and she is widely respected though not so widely known.

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