Toni Preckwinkle beats Democratic primary challenger Richard Boykin for Cook County Board president
Preckwinkle said Tuesday night she looks “forward to all the good work that lies ahead” as her opponent, Richard Boykin — a former Cook County Board commissioner — conceded the race: “The voters have spoken, and I stand by their decision.”
Toni Preckwinkle defeated her Democratic primary challenger Richard Boykin for the county’s top post Tuesday night, bringing her one step closer to winning her fourth term as Cook County Board president in November.
“I extend my deepest gratitude to the voters who have supported me in the primary election and I look forward to another term in November,” Preckwinkle said in a statement claiming victory. “I’m grateful that Cook County voters have entrusted me to run the nation’s second-largest county in the country for the past twelve years, and look forward to all the good work that lies ahead.”
The incomplete results that flowed in Tuesday night indicated Preckwinkle leading Boykin — a former Cook County Board commissioner — 75.4% to 24.6%, with 91% of precincts reported.
Boykin conceded to the Chicago Sun-Times, saying he wanted to “thank the voters of Cook County for allowing” him to discuss his ideas about making the county safer and more affordable.
“The voters have spoken, and I stand by their decision,” Boykin said. “I commend President Preckwinkle and wish her well.”
It was a relatively smooth night for the Hyde Park Democrat, and it inches her closer to holding the office longer than anyone except George W. Dunne who served nearly 22 years in the position.
Preckwinkle had leveraged her goodwill with voters by showcasing how the county handled the coronavirus pandemic over the past two years. She also pointed to how she helped usher federal dollars from COVID-19 relief aid into social safety net issues and bulk up the county’s public health care infrastructure.
In the weeks before the election, Preckwinkle had told the Chicago Sun-Times the county was in the midst of a historic moment with an infusion of $1 billion that arrived through the American Rescue Plan Act. That money would help fund county programs through 2024.
If reelected, Preckwinkle said she would make sure those funds go toward progressive policies.
Boykin took a tough-on-crime approach to his campaign and proposed temporarily suspending gas taxes to help Cook County residents dealing with soaring costs at the pump and rising inflation — a move Preckwinkle called “bad policy.”
The former Cook County Board commissioner had joined Chicago mayoral candidate Willie Wilson’s gas and grocery giveaway efforts in the months leading up to the primary election — acting as Wilson’s political surrogate and spokesman.
He benefited greatly from the unorthodox philanthropist who helped bankroll Boykin’s campaign by pumping nearly $250,000 into his efforts to unseat Preckwinkle, according to the Illinois State Board of Elections.
Also, Democrat incumbent Tom Dart held a strong lead against Noland Rivera for Cook County sheriff. The long-time county sheriff led Rivera, a 27-year veteran and sergeant of the Chicago Police Department, 86.7% to 13.3% with 91% of precincts reported.
No Republican has filed to run, but if Dart wins he will more than likely face off against Hanover Park’s Libertarian Brad Sandefur in the general election.