Posted by: jamesvw | January 4, 2010

Election 2010 – Cook County Commission President

Election 2010 – Cook County Commission President (Chicago, Illinois)


(D) Toni Preckwinkle – 273,776 (49.2%)
Terrence O’Brien – 127,784 (22.9%)
Dorothy Brown – 79,797 (14.3%)
Todd Stroger – 75,626 (13.6%)

(R) Roger Keats – 92,320 (68.7%)
John Garrido – 42,055 (31.3%)

Cook County, Illinois has 5.3 million residents, making it the second most populated county in the United States (after Los Angeles County). That makes the County government responsible for a segment of constituents larger than 19 individual states.

Containing Chicago, the county government is administered by a 17 person County Commission with a President elected every four years. It oversees public safety and health, road maintenance and other major facets of public service in the county. As can be imagined, positions on this board are extremely powerful and highly coveted. None more than the presidency.

The Democratic candidate, Toni Preckwinkle, defeated incumbent Todd Stroger, as well as two other strong opponents in the primary. She will be the strong favorite in this heavily Democratic-leaning county. Republicans have high hopes for Roger Keats who defeated one candidate in the primary to move onto the general election


Alderwoman Toni Preckwinkle currently represents the 4th Ward of Chicago, covering part of the South Side of that city. In 2007 she was elected to her fifth four-year term as Alderman. She has been a dogged supporter of urban renewal, affordable housing and has been a force in the Chicago Democratic party as well. To learn more, click here.


State Senator Roger Keats is hoping to score an upset in this traditionally Democratic election. Endorsed by most suburban Republican boards, Keats has represented a North Shore district between 1978 and 1994 and is looking to return to public office.  He is also a veteran and lives in Wilmette. To learn more, click here.



  1. Couple of corrections. First, Todd Stroger was asked to stand in his father’s stead for the 2006 general election after John Stroger had a stroke a week before the primary. Todd Stroger was then ELECTED in the November 2006 general election (not 2008).

    Re Preckwinkle, in Chicago we refer to aldermanic ‘districts’ as wards.

    You have links to all of the candidates’ websites but Mr. Stroger’s. His website url is


    • Thanks Chris for the corrections. I have updated the post to reflect the new information.

      As you clearly know your stuff on this race, do you get any sense that it is getting any closer as the primary nears? Does Stroger have a chance?

      And, most importantly, have you decided on who you are voting for? And if you have, why did you choose that person?

  2. Lovenguth link says:

    Florida – Register to vote now – free download Spanish and American English voter registraton forms from Florida Sect. of State.

  3. For what it’s worth, this has become an Anti-Todd Stroger race. He is really unpopular, probably less than 20% of the vote. The question on the Democrat side of things will be will any of the three African-American candidates gain enough votes to win, or will the “black vote” be split allowing O’Brien (who is white) win. Preckwinkle may actually be able to gain a good amount of support from the same white voters who most-likely voted for Obama.

    • I have also heard that progressives are supporting Preckwinkle. This has turned into a fascinating race.

      Do you think there is a possibility of the “anti-Stroger” vote splitting so evenly between the other three that he ends up surviving?

      • I don’t think so. Preckwinkle picked up some major endorsements from the two main newspapers yesterday, so I am guessing she will pull ahead. Brown has her loyalists, but I’m not sure she will carry the masses. One paper said the only thing new or different O’Brien offers is his race, which in Cook County could be enough. But the bottom line, I beleive, is that the vote will NOT be so fractured as to send Stroger to the General Election. If anything the fractured vote would probably help O’Brien, which is probably what he is hoping.

  4. In all fairness, I should say I have been paying close attention to the Cook County Board President election because my friend John Garrido is running on the Republican ticket (as you know). My hope is that any of your readers who want real change will vote for Garrido.

    John has been very busy meeting people, participating in candidate forums, and talking to members of the media. He has been well received everywhere he has gone. yesterday, the Chicago Tribune said:

    “We’re impressed by John Garrido, a Chicago police lieutenant and lawyermaking a first run for office. His “Fresh Start Initiatives,” posted on his campaign Web site, include crisp thinking on health care, budgeting, taxes, ethics and public safety.”

    However, the paper endorsed the other candidate “by a nose”. In my book, for a first time candidate, for someone who has never held public office, for a regular working guy, for a regular property owner and tax-payer, I think that is AWESOME. I also think that is as good as calling the endorsement even.

    I also think it is time for the voters to decide if they want a “Fresh Start for Cook County” or NOT. It is also the time to decide who they think could actually beat the Democrat candidate in the General Election in November. Personally I believe if John Garrido does not get the nod, the Republican Party is once again DEAD IN THE WATER. At least with John Garrido as the Republican candidate in November, I think we have a real opportunity to start over with a true outsider, with someone who is free of ties to other politicians, special interests, and power brokers.

    • Thank you for your well reasoned explanation of your choice in this election.

      My own personal opinion, from working on campaigns and writing about them, is that it is always more successful to give reasons why someone should vote for your candidate, rather than constantly give reasons why voters should not vote for your opponent.

      Make your voice heard – no matter how uphill the battle is. It is what voting (and the general democratic process) is all about.

  5. And speaking of the democratic process, I believe I saw somewhere on your website that the registration period has ended for Cook County, Illinois, but that is not completely true.

    We of course have a “grace period” for registration here. You can register at specific locations in Cook County, however you must also cast your ballot at the time of registration. For more information, please click on this link:

  6. Let’s not forget about Tom Tresser who is running as a Green Party candidate for Cook County Board President. His website is tom2010[dot]us.

    • Absolutely, but this is just a post about the primary. Voters have a long time (until November 2) before they get to vote for him.

  7. Kevin, but isn’t true that Tresser’s supporter’s don’t have to vote in the Primary Elections on February 2nd because he is unopposed? He will only be on the November ballot, I think. So, I would recommend his supporters pull a Republican ticket on February 2nd and vote for John Garrido, or Todd Stroger if they want to really mess with people. This way when the General Election comes around they can vote for their favorite candidate. No sense in throwing away a vote now.

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