Preckwinkle files to keep Cook County Board presidency; challengers wait

Democratic Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle - a magnet for criticism since she pushed for a sweetened-beverage tax - was among the politicians who filed petitions Monday to get on the March primary ballot.

While Preckwinkle filed her nominating petitions with the Cook County clerk's office on opening day in an effort to win another 4-year term, two of her potential Democratic primary opponents did not present their paperwork. Ex-Cook County Board President Todd Stroger and former Chicago Alderman Bob Fioretti have until 5 p.m. Monday, Dec. 4, to file their petitions to be placed on the ballot.

In announcing their possible challenges to Preckwinkle, Fioretti and Stroger criticized her push for the penny-per-ounce tax on soda and other sweetened drinks that has been repealed and won't be collected anymore starting Friday, Dec. 1.

Preckwinkle trounced Stroger in the 2010 Democratic primary for county board president, which was tantamount to winning the general race. Preckwinkle hammered at Stroger for a 1-percentage-point sales tax increase that was passed during his presidency and later repealed at her urging after she took office.

No Republicans filed nominating petitions Monday for the Cook County Board presidency.

Some competition to some Democrats in top 4-year jobs surfaced, with Peter Gariepy seeking to topple Treasurer Maria Pappas and Frederick "Fritz" Kaegi aiming for Assessor Joseph Berrios in the March 20 primary. No Republicans filed for those offices.

Others who filed their petitions for a spot on the March Democratic ballot in Cook County include Sheriff Thomas Dart and Clerk Karen Yarbrough. No Republicans filed for either of the 4-year seats as of Monday.

Two Democrats - Kevin Morrison of Elk Grove Village and Ravi Raju - filed their petitions to get on the primary ballot in the Cook County Board's 15th District. That 4-year seat includes parts of Arlington Heights, Barrington, Elgin, Elk Grove Village, Hanover Park, Hoffman Estates, Mount Prospect, Rolling Meadows, Streamwood and Schaumburg.

Incumbent Timothy Schneider of Bartlett, who represents the county board's 15th District, was the lone Republican to file on opening day.

Republican Cook County Board Commissioner Gregg Goslin of Glenview filed his paperwork Monday in an effort to win another 4-year term. No Democrat surfaced Monday in his 14th District, which includes Arlington Heights, Barrington Hills, Buffalo Grove, Deerfield. Glenview, Golf, Inverness, Northbrook, Northfield, Palatine, Prospect Heights, Rolling Meadows and Wheeling.

Some candidates who file petitions never make it on the ballot due to challenges to signatures by opponents.

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