Preckwinkle fends off challenge from Fioretti for fourth term in Cook County
Cook County Board President Toni Preckwinkle cruised to a fourth term Tuesday as the top elected executive of the nation's second most populous county, fending off a challenge from a one-time Democratic primary opponent who changed parties and ran as a Republican.
Preckwinkle, a Democrat from Chicago's Hyde Park neighborhood, tallied 869,378 votes to 381,718 for former Chicago Alderman Bob Fioretti, according to the unofficial totals, with 98% of precincts reporting. Libertarian Thea Tsatsos of River Forest had 40,627 votes.
Fioretti lost to Preckwinkle in the 2018 primary -- that, a 61% to 39% margin -- and subsequently tossed his hat into election contests for Chicago mayor in 2019 and state's attorney as a Democrat in 2020. He made issues of taxes, spending and crime a cornerstone of his latest campaign, arguing Preckwinkle's support of criminal justice reforms at the state and county level have contributed to a crime wave.
Preckwinkle defended her approach, calling it a "guiding principle" of her administration, while touting efforts to establish a $42 million guaranteed income pilot program and initiative to eliminate up to $1 billion in medical debt. She said in a statement Tuesday night her focus in the next term will be on those programs, distributing $1 billion in American Rescue Plan Act funding, and investing in mental and behavioral health services -- in what she called the county's "legacy commitment to public health and public safety."
Preckwinkle defeated former county Commissioner Richard Boykin of Oak Park in the most recent primary.
With all precincts reporting late Tuesday, here are the unofficial early results from county board of commissioners races that cover the suburbs:
• 9th District: Republican Matt Podgorski of Chicago held a slim lead over Democrat Maggie Trevor of Rolling Meadows, with 51,474 to 50,306 votes. Podgorski, a logistics director, is aiming to fill the seat long held by Republican Peter Silvestri of Elmwood Park, who didn't seek an eighth term. Trevor, a market research/business consultant from Rolling Meadows, lost close races for an Illinois House seat to state Rep. Tom Morrison in 2018 and 2020. The redrawn 9th District includes parts of Chicago and large portions of Palatine, Wheeling, Maine, Leyden, Norwood Park and River Forest townships.
• 14th District: Democratic incumbent Scott Britton of Glenview appears headed to a second term, holding a 63,778 to 41,733 vote lead over Republican challenger Benton Howser of Wilmette. Britton, a lawyer and former Glenview trustee and school board member, campaigned on his legislative efforts in the areas of renter-landlord rules, ballot access for non-English speakers, raising the tobacco sales age and improving trust between police and residents. The district includes all or parts of Glenview, Wheeling, Prospect Heights, Arlington Heights, Buffalo Grove, Palatine, Inverness and Barrington.
• 15th District: Democratic incumbent Kevin Morrison of Mount Prospect also was on his way to a second term, with a 41,596 to 31,456 vote lead over Republican challenger Chuck Cerniglia of Hoffman Estates. Morrison -- elected as the first openly LGBTQ county commissioner in 2018 -- campaigned on expanding mental health resources, and has led efforts to create the county's first department of mental and behavioral health. The district goes into Schaumburg, Elk Grove Village, Hanover Park, Hoffman Estates, South Barrington, Palatine, Des Plaines and Elgin.
• 17th District: Incumbent Sean Morrison of Palos Park held onto a narrow lead in his reelection bid, as one of only two Republicans on the 17-member elected panel. Morrison, the chairman of the Cook County Republican Party, led Democrat Daniel Calandriello of Orland Park 54,468 to 50,222 votes. Morrison fended off a primary challenge from Liz Doody Gorman, who previously held the seat. The district stretches from the South suburbs to parts of Prospect Heights, Des Plaines, Elk Grove Village and Schaumburg.