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Rep. Schakowsky endorses Preckwinkle for mayor: The ‘progressive in this race’

Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., Jan. 15, 2018. | Ashlee Rezin/Sun-Times

Rep. Jan Schakowsky, D-Ill., endorsed Toni Preckwinkle for mayor on Thursday and vouched for the progressive credentials of the Cook County Board president.

“I am proud to be an early endorser of Toni Preckwinkle,” Schakowsky told the Sun-Times.

Schakowsky, a leader of the progressive wing of the Democratic Party at the local and national levels, said, “Toni Preckwinkle is the progressive in this race.”

With many candidates in the crowded mayoral field pitching themselves to the growing number of progressive voters in the city, the testimonial of Schakowsky, a vice-chair of the Congressional Progressive Caucus, is valuable to Preckwinkle.

Schakowsky’s 9th congressional district takes in wards on Chicago’s North Side loaded with progressive voters — including portions of the 50th, 49th, 48th, 47th, 46th and 41st.

Schakowsky also oversees a political organization with experienced volunteers who specialize in grassroots politics and turning out the vote.

The Cook County Board approved a $5.9 billion budget on Thursday and Schakowsky cited Preckwinkle’s experience in running the county —  including delivering health-care services — in her endorsement.

“She is bold, I love that about her,” Schakowsky said, “And willing to take on and be a leader on controversial issues. And I think that she would make the best of the many that have stepped forward and said they want to run.”

The nonpartisan mayoral election is in February, and if no candidate wins a majority, there is a runoff in April.

Mayoral campaign fundraising notes: While the progressive mayoral rivals fight over their piece of the electoral pie, candidate Garry McCarthy is staking out different political turf.

He just got a boost from the wife of Dick Uihlein, one of the biggest donors in the nation to GOP and conservative candidates and causes. On Nov. 1, Elizabeth Uihlein, who lives in Lake Forest, sent $5,000 to McCarthy’s campaign. If the Uihleins decided to jump in the Chicago mayor’s race, it could be a game-changer for McCarthy. The $2 million Dick Uihlein gave to the primary campaign of GOP gubernatorial  candidate Jeanne Ives made her bid against Gov. Bruce Rauner viable.

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