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The race to be the next Cook County Board president has attracted attention from three Black candidates and Democratic incumbent Todd Stroger.

The race to be the next Cook County Board president has attracted attention from three Black candidates and Democratic incumbent Todd Stroger.

So far Ald. Toni Preckwinkle (4th), Clerk of the Circuit Court of Cook County Dorothy Brown and most recently U.S. Rep. Danny K. Davis, D-7th, have all said they plan to run against Stroger in the February 2010 election.

Many are concerned that having all four of them in the race will split the Black vote, paving the way for a non-Black candidate to take the office.

Brown, though, said regardless of how many Black candidates enter the race, she is in it to win.

“I am concerned about the Black vote being split, but in the end, I think I will prevail as the next county board president,” she told the Defender.

She is surprised that Davis would consider leaving Congress to become county board president.

He has built a very respectable career as a congressman and has been a very effective one at that, so it is surprising to see him showing interest in a local race,” she said.

But Davis said he is the strongest Black candidate who could guarantee a win in light of Stroger’s weakening political support.

“Even if I did not run, someone else will and either way I doubt if he (Todd Stroger) could win,” Davis said. “I think Todd has done the best job he could up to this point.”

Davis added that he is not concerned about splitting the Black vote because “everyone speaking today may not run for office,” he explained. “I have always gotten non-African-American votes when running for office so I am not concerned about losing Black votes to other candidates. I represent diversity.”

Preckwinkle, who announced her candidacy in January, was the first declared candidate for county board president, even before Stroger announced he would seek re-election.

She compliments Stroger, but also says the county board presidency is not a food fit for him.

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In photo: Cong. Danny Davis holds a press conference Sunday to announce formation of an exploratory committee to help him decide if he will make an official run for county board president next year.

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