Cook County candidate deadline arrives for 2024 ballot – Chicago Tribune

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Monday afternoon marked the deadline for 2024 hopefuls to turn in their petitions to make it onto the March primary ballot, with candidates jockeying for ballot position and already firing off campaign barbs.

Among the hopefuls trickling in on Monday to show off their stacks of signatures and officially get into the race for Cook County state’s attorney were Eileen O’Neill Burke, a Democrat, and Bob Fioretti, a Republican.

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“The status quo isn’t working for anyone,” O’Neill Burke, a former prosecutor, criminal defense attorney and judge, said in a release.

Her sole opponent, Clayton Harris III, received the endorsement of the Cook County Democratic Party and its head, Toni Preckwinkle. Preckwinkle was also a staunch supporter of outgoing State’s Attorney Kim Foxx.


“We need to tackle gun violence while getting after the root causes of crime, like poverty and historic disinvestment,” O’Neill Burke said.

Former alderman Fioretti, an attorney, is slated to be the only Republican on the ballot. Former Illinois House Republican leader Jim Durkin announced last week he would not throw his hat in the ring, citing the negative influence Donald Trump will have on the top of the ticket and the “daunting challenge” of running as a Republican in Cook County. Libertarian Andrew Charles Kopinski also filed to run for State’s Attorney.

Submitting signatures at the end of the window offers some advantages: additional time to collect more petitions, less time for opponents to search for faulty signatures to mount a challenge that could get a candidate kicked off the ballot, and the potential for being listed last (which some view as a prime ballot position).

Another challenge is brewing down-ballot, where 19-year incumbent Board of Review Commissioner Larry Rogers Jr. could face a tough contest against newcomer Larecia Tucker, a real estate broker and clerk in the Rich Township assessor’s office.

Backing Tucker is Assessor Fritz Kaegi, who has previously sparred with the Board of Review — and Rogers specifically — over differing approaches to determine property values.

The board is a three-member panel that hears appeals to Kaegi’s assessments. In many cases, the board has unwound Kaegi’s numbers, arguing their valuations are more accurate. But Kaegi says doing so puts the property tax burden back on homeowners.

Though some of his acolytes have run for board seats, Kaegi has for years declined to support or challenge Board of Review candidates with endorsements or financial support, previously suggesting there should be a bright line between his office and the board.

“I don’t think it’s right for the assessor to be picking commissioners,” Kaegi told Crain’s in 2021. “It’s important that they be an independent view of what we’re looking at.”


This year, he’s changed his tune, both endorsing and contributing heavily to Tucker’s campaign. In all Tucker has received just over $24,000 from Kaegi’s political fund as well as personal checks he and his wife have written.

Despite the donations, Tucker said she would maintain her independence, and noted that Rogers had accepted donations from real estate attorneys and firms. “I’m qualified, I am my own person,” she said. “I would be … reflecting the market, not what Fritz has told me.”

Kaegi “has increased assessments on homeowners by as much as 200% and now he wants to control who decides appeals,” Rogers told the Tribune. The board “cannot be bought by Fritz Kaegi. I have and will remain an independent commissioner fighting Fritz for fairness in assessments and taxes.”

Tucker, who ran unsuccessfully to be Bloom Township’s assessor, said she’s familiar with the property tax issues plaguing the south suburbs: her family sold their own Park Forest home and moved elsewhere to avoid that village’s high tax rates.

As a clerk in the Rich Township assessor’s office, she said she’s seen face-to-face the impact high taxes have on her neighbors. “You end up trying to be a counselor to them because they’re crying or they’re upset trying to figure out how they’re going to pay their taxes, stay in their home,” Tucker said. “Are they going to eat? So it gets to a point that you get upset just seeing it over and over and over again.”

Kaegi did not answer questions about why he was retreating from his policy not to meddle in Board of Review elections. “In order to fully reform the Cook County property tax system, we need to root out favoritism, corruption, and unethical behavior wherever it occurs. Larecia Tucker has pledged to not accept any money from property tax appeal firms and to implement all the changes at the Board of Review recommended by County ethics watchdogs,” he said in a statement.


Several new members of the Chicago City Council also submitted petitions to represent their wards in the Cook County Democratic Party: Peter Chico, 10th; Jessie Fuentes, 26th; Ruth Cruz, 30th; Bill Conway, 34th; Bennett Lawson, 44th; and Leni Manaa-Hoppenworth, 48th. As expected, longtime Ald. Marty Quinn also filed to replace former House Speaker Mike Madigan as committeeperson of the 13th Ward.

Committeepersons are responsible for endorsing fellow Democrats during campaign season and, at times, appointing replacements for vacant elected positions at the county board and in the state legislature.

Only a handful of races for party seats are contested. That includes in the 12th Ward, where state Rep. Theresa Mah and Richard “Ricky” A. Mercado both filed to challenge incumbent George Cardenas, the ward’s former alderman who is now a member of the Cook County Board of Review. State Sen. Elgie Sims filed to run for the open 6th Ward position, taking on new Ald. William Hall.

In the 33rd, Ald. Rossana Rodriguez Sanchez filed petitions to run against Cook County Circuit Court Clerk Iris Martinez, the latest chapter of their Northwest Side conflict.

Martinez is running for reelection as court clerk. Also filing: libertarian candidate Michael Murphy and Republican Lupe Aguirre.

Ald. Jim Gardiner, 45th, did not submit petitions to remain as committeeperson. Two Democrats are running to replace him: Joe Cook, who was remapped out of the 41st Ward where he has served as committeeman; and Michael Patrick Rabbitt, who was narrowly defeated in the primary contest for the state house seat for the 15th district.


In Springfield, the final day of filing for congressional races meant, barring objection, 26-year incumbent U.S. Rep. Danny Davis of Chicago will be in a six-way Democratic primary for reelection in the 7th District, which covers parts of Chicago’s West and South sides, downtown and near west suburbs.

Filing on the last day was Kina Collins of Chicago, a progressive mounting her third consecutive bid to oust Davis. He defeated her 52% to 46% in a three-way primary last year.

Rhonda Sherrod of Maywood filed to be listed as the last name in the race. Filing earlier in the Democratic primary contest were Davis, Chicago Treasurer Melissa Conyears-Ervin and Chicagoans Kouri Marshall and Nikhil Bhatia.

Conyears-Ervin has received attention in recent months after the Tribune disclosed several now-former employees of her office accused her of ethical lapses or misusing public resources for her private benefit.

Last month, the city’s Board of Ethics ruled that Conyears-Ervin violated the city’s ethics code in a probable cause finding related to those allegations. Among the state’s 14 Democratic incumbent members of Congress seeking reelection in 2024, Davis is in a group of six with apparent primary challenges.

In addition to Davis, U.S. Reps. Jesus “Chuy” Garcia of Chicago, Sean Casten of Downers Grove, Mike Quigley of Chicago, Jan Schakowsky of Evanston and Bill Foster of Naperville face primary opposition.


Quigley, a 14-year incumbent, faces a three-way primary, gaining a last day primary challenge from Jonathan Antonio Bishop of Palatine in the 5th District, which runs from Chicago’s North Side into the northwest suburbs. Filing earlier was Jerico Matias Cruz of Chicago.

In the far west and northwest suburban 14th District, three Republicans are vying to challenge three-term Democratic U.S. Rep. Lauren Underwood of Naperville. Charlie Kim of Aurora and Krystal Dorie of Lockport filed Monday, joining James Marter of Oswego, who since 2016 has lost three GOP congressional primary bids as well as a U.S. Senate primary.

In far downstate Illinois, three Democrats will be competing to challenge the winner of one of the nation’s most closely watched Republican congressional races, between incumbent U.S. Rep. Mike Bost of Murphysboro and last year’s unsuccessful GOP governor candidate, Darren Bailey of Xenia. Filing for the Democratic nomination in the ruby-red 12th District were Joshua Qualls of Centralia, Brian Roberts of DeSoto and Preston Gabriel Nelson of Lebanon.

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