Frederick “Fritz” Kaegi will be the next Cook County Assessor, having defeated challenger Joseph Paglia, according to returns from the Associated Press, Cook County Clerk’s Office and the Chicago Board of Elections.
Kaegi defeated incumbent Assessor Joe Berrios for the Democratic nomination less than two hours after the polls closed in the primary election on March 20.
Kaegi’s campaign platform primarily took aim at the county’s imbalanced property tax system, which taxes the wealthy at a lower rate than average homeowners. Earlier this year, the Civic Consulting Alliance released a study saying the Cook County property tax system is so skewed that, for example, the average owner of a $600,000 Chicago home pays an effective tax rate that is 24 percent lower than the owner of a $300,000 house.
The Sun-Times endorsed Kaegi for the seat, saying the financial analyst from Oak Park “would have been a strong candidate for our endorsement even if his Republican opponent Joseph Paglia of Chicago had not virtually disappeared from public view in this race.”
Paglia has been largely absent from the campaign trail this election cycle and did not respond to an invitation by the Sun-Times Editorial Board to answer a candidate questionnaire about his platform.