It looks like Toni Preckwinkle isn’t ready to ride off into the sunset after all.
Nearly three months after a blowout loss to Lori Lightfoot in the April mayoral election, Preckwinkle on Tuesday kicked wide open the door to seeking another term as Cook County Board president.
“Yes, she’s running again,” Scott Kastrup, Preckwinkle’s political director, said at a fundraiser held at the Chicago Cultural Center. “We’re pleased to be doing this [fundraiser] again, and she’s definitely running for re-election for the County Board.”
Tuesday’s event left little doubt that that was the plan.
A jazz band played tunes such as Dave Brubeck’s classic “Take Five” as supporters filed into the room. At the sign-in tables, donors were encouraged to take buttons emblazoned with Preckwinkle’s face.
The messaging was simple: Re-elect Toni Preckwinkle President of Cook County Board.”
Preckwinkle worked the room, hugging and shaking hands with politicians, county employees and others. The crowd included Ald. Pat Dowell (3rd), County Commissioner John Daley, state Sen. Robert Peters, D-Chicago, and Ald. Patrick Daley Thompson (11th).
Back in 2018, Preckwinkle declared that her current term, which began last year, would be her last.
But since losing the April runoff, she has steadily backed away from that stance.
Just days after the mayoral race, Preckwinkle refused to say definitively that she still planned to step down after her current term ends in 2022.
“You know, I’m looking forward to the next four years,” Preckwinkle said when asked if this term would be her last. “We’ve got a lot on our plate, starting with, frankly, our work on the Census. Billions of dollars are at stake not just for us in the county but every taxing body within the county all the cities towns and villages all the school districts and not to mention our congressional delegation.”
“I’ve got a lot of work to do,” she repeated at the time when pressed on whether this would be her final term.