Is Toni Preckwinkle testing the waters?

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The big buzz . . .

Is Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle dodging — or doing?

Sneed hears speculation that Preckwinkle is considering a run for mayor may be growing legs.

Barring being drafted by the African-American community to run against Mayor Rahm Emanuel — which she ostensibly would find hard to refuse — Sneed is told Preckwinkle, 67, who assured Emanuel months ago she wasn’t running, is now being encouraged to rethink her political future.

◆ To wit: “She is being urged by some of her political advisers to run, but finding the campaign financing to go against Rahm’s money machine is a huge factor . . . and her age,” said a Preckwinkle insider.

“She’s a smart lady, but she also has an ego,” the source added.

RELATED: Preckwinkle won’t rule out tax increase to strike pension deal

◆ Tough shot: If Preckwinkle decided to run, she would have only four months to pull off a Harold Washington miracle. The mayoral race in 2015 is only four months after her re-election bid in November.

◆ Kickshot: “You should see how Toni is treated when she attends Dem ward meetings recently . . . like she was the queen of the Nile,” said the source. “At the 11th Ward meeting Tuesday night, bouquets were being tossed at her right and left.”

◆ Lob shot: Karen Vaughan, Preckwinkle’s new press secretary, told Sneed on Wednesday afternoon: “She is still reaffirming her commitment to running for re-election.”

READ MICHAEL SNEED’S FULL COLUMN AT SUNTIMES.COM

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